News

MP, Atherton join suit against high-speed rail

Menlo Park and Atherton officials don't want high-speed passenger trains zooming through town, and now they're hopping on board a lawsuit to prove their point.

Both city councils voted Aug. 5 in separate closed-session meetings to join a group of environmental and rail nonprofits that plan to sue the California High Speed Rail Authority on the basis that the authority picked an environmentally insensitive route in plans to connect San Francisco and Los Angeles with electric trains that would reach speeds up to 220 miles per hour.

Proposition 1, a $9.95 billion ballot measure that would provide the first wave of funding for the project, is set to go before California voters on Nov. 4.

The lawsuit won't keep Proposition 1 off the ballot, but if successful, it could require the authority to conduct more strenuous environmental review, adding costs and delays to the $42 billion project.

The lawsuit is being spearheaded by environmental and rail nonprofit groups that were previous supporters of the high-speed train project, but have since become vocal critics of the rail authority's selection of the Pacheco Pass as the route to connect trains from the Central Valley to the Bay Area.

Under the Pacheco plan, high-speed trains would connect to Gilroy from the Central Valley and shoot up and down the Caltrain corridor to connect to San Francisco. That route would serve fewer riders, and be far more environmentally damaging than the Altamont Pass route, according to the group of environmental and rail nonprofits.

Under the Altamont plan, trains would continue north into the San Joaquin Valley before heading west and crossing a new bridge across the Bay to connect to the Caltrain line -- a route that could bypass Menlo Park and Atherton entirely.

The nonprofits spearheading the lawsuit include the Planning and Conservation League, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, the California Rail Foundation (the educational arm of the Train Riders' Association of California) and Bay Rail Alliance.


Local opposition

A majority of Menlo Park and Atherton council members have been clear in their opposition to high-speed trains shooting up and down the Caltrain corridor, arguing that the trains would have detrimental impacts on the two towns.

The project would require grade separations -- building overpasses or underpasses to separate the tracks from the roadway at six local intersections -- resulting in years-long construction impacts for homes and businesses located near the Caltrain tracks, and major impacts on local property values.

"We've seen no indication of the High Speed Rail Authority even considering the concerns of communities up and down the Peninsula," said Menlo Park City Councilwoman Kelly Fergusson. "We've been shown no respect."

The Menlo Park City Council voted 2-1 to join the lawsuit, with council members Richard Cline and Kelly Fergusson in favor and Councilman John Boyle opposed. Mayor Andy Cohen did not participate due to a potential conflict of interest because he owns property near the Caltrain tracks, and Councilman Heyward Robinson was absent.

The Atherton City Council voted 3-0 to join the lawsuit with council members Jerry Carlson, Jim Dobbie and Charles Marsala in favor. Mayor Jim Janz did not participate because he owns property near the Caltrain tracks, and Councilwoman Kathy McKeithen was absent.

Comments

Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 5:20 pm

"The project would require grade separations -- building overpasses or underpasses to separate the tracks from the roadway at six local intersections -- resulting in years-long construction impacts for homes and businesses located near the Caltrain tracks, and major impacts on local property values."

And here I thought grade separation projects made rail lines safer by physically separating vehicular and rail traffic so that the risk of accidents is decreased, and thus were desirable projects to undertake.

VOTE NO ON GRADE SEPARATIONS THIS NOVEMBER! WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN?!


Posted by Not a troll, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:23 pm

I'm not sure why an L.A. college student feels qualified to weigh in here, but there are many considerations other than grade separations. However, if you had ever visited our part of the world, you might understand why so many of us are deeply considered about grade separations.

Those of us who ARE thinking of our children (without sarcasm) do not see any benefit to them from this fiasco. On the contrary, HSR would drain the state of funds that could and should be used for educational and recreational services for our children.

Hooray for Menlo Park, Atherton, and the other groups for standing up for the hundreds of thousands of families that would be adversely affected by HSR.


Posted by Menlo-park, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:31 pm

@troll - Grade separations make things safer, period. I have patrolled in another Peninsula city w/o grade separations and I know about the accidents when a car and Caltrain collide. Oppose HSR for whatever reason you want, but don't claim that closing crossings won't make things safer. That just makes you look very silly and is an insult to those that have been injured and killed.


Posted by Mike, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:43 pm

"educational and recreational services for our children"

I can guarantee that when your little "precious" becomes sufficiently educated and recreated they will wonder why their parents didn't take advantage of the opportunity to build a modern rail system like the rest of the civilized world. "Omigod! My parents are so not intelligent!"


Posted by Not a troll, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm

The "opportunity" to throw $10 billion down the drain? I don't know any kids who are that dumb.

Of course there would be fewer (if any) auto-train collisions with grade separations. Has anyone argued otherwise? But I expect that the sort of drivers who don't see gates or hear bells and horns are the same people who run red lights or drive into trees.

Besides, we could have grade separations if we wanted them. We don't need HSR for that. Using grade separations as an incentive to promote HSR just reflects the fact that there aren't many reasons to route HSR through a densely populated and expensive urban area. And there aren't any reasons that are worth $10 billion.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 7:43 pm

Don't forget Caltrain getting electrification and switching to more efficient and less polluting electric locomotives.


Posted by Sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:05 pm

Not a Troll makes a very good point. If the reason to support is to get grade separations, it would be far cheaper and quicker and more under our community's control to just do that. The $10 Billion price tag omits many construction costs, including land and the crossings for the to-be-separated roads. It also excludes the inevitable operational subsidies.
HSR would not even be high speed in densely populated areas; we already have baby bullets from CalTrain. If population continues to grow, we will still need to enhance roads and airports. But those projects would compete with HSR for funds.
I am quite hopeful that technology innovation will be spurred rapidly by the current energy crisis, bringing about transportation alternatives not considered today. Far before HSR could ever be operational, it would have been made unnecessary and obsolete. If HSR were FREE, why not? But it is supremely expensive, and I'm sure not the only one with a limited pocketbook.


Posted by Glen, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:06 pm

[Post removed; see terms of use]


Posted by sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:22 pm

excuse me. speak for yourself. Can you afford this? I certainly can't.


Posted by Nikko, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:41 pm

wow, you guys are brilliant. This project is going to do more for our economy and environment than any other alternative (especially staying reliant on oil). Way to put your personal interests ahead of the rest of the California population.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 6, 2008 at 9:49 pm

"HSR would not even be high speed in densely populated areas; we already have baby bullets from CalTrain."

100 to 150 MPH isn't high speed? Caltrain still has a top speed of 79 MPH, even the Baby Bullets.

"Far before HSR could ever be operational, it would have been made unnecessary and obsolete."

There have been many attempts to declare conventional steel wheel on steel rail transportation technology dead and obsolete. All have failed.

In America, rail was on life support for a while but they couldn't quite get the job done.

As much as people love their Maglevs and monorails and prospects of flying cars, rail will continue to flourish and improve for decades to come.

It's another tactic to plant uncertainty in a project. You declare it'll be obsolete someday. It's like when people refuse to buy a computer because the next big technology is just around the corner. The next big thing will always be around the corner so buy the damn computer already.


Posted by menlo-park, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 6, 2008 at 10:22 pm

@troll and Sally - Yes, Menlo Park can have grade separations without HSR if we are willing to put up at least $20 million/crossing. We have 5 crossings (Watkins, Encinal, Glenwood, Oak Grove, and Ravenswood), so we're talking at least $100 million. That's got to be an assessment of at least $6,000/household...or do you propose we hold a bake sale to pay for this?


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm

I find it interesting that both sides of this debate are trying to undermine each other with petty BS assualts. First, writing off Menlo Park as wealthy NIMBYS and the response, calling HSR advocates ignorant or immature.

There are fabulous cases for HSR and strong cases for concern in certain communities. Why would you blame elected officials of Menlo Park for looking out for Menlo Park? That is what they were elected to do.

And if Menlo Park does take a stand against HSR I would agree that such a stance is short sided. In this case, if you will amuse me by accepting a fact, the line through the Peninsula is challenged and the lack of a response to concerns re: mitigations.

Can we keep it up here and talk rationally about the issue?

Or has the etiquette train left the station?


Posted by not a troll, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 6, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Just the five grade separations in Menlo Park and Atherton cost $100 million. Eminent domain in those cities will add another $200 million (conservative estimate) to the cost. And yet, the supporters claim it's only going to cost the taxpayer $10 billion for the whole system from San Francisco to Los Angeles?

Is it any wonder that we question those HSR numbers?

No bake sales are necessary, because I don't think we need those grade separations. And how about asking the 200,000 state employees who have been threatened with major pay cuts if they think the state can afford HSR?


Posted by Clem, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 6, 2008 at 11:40 pm

The amusing thing about Menlo Park joining this lawsuit is that the HSR right of way would move from the Caltrain corridor to the Dumbarton tracks through Belle Haven / Fair Oaks... but under either scenario (Pacheco Pass or Altamont Pass) HSR still comes to Menlo Park.

These progressive city councils, environmental groups and rail advocacy groups should stop tripping all over each other to fight over the details... there's plenty of time to do that *after* November. They're jumping the gun on Prop 1 and possibly undermining the one and only opportunity to launch HSR in California.

This lawsuit is ill-timed nonsense, no matter what its environmental or transportation merits may be.


Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:06 am

Not a trol,

Do your homework. $10 billion is from a bond measure, another $20 billion is from federal and private investment. So it is $30 billion for the first leg, SF to LA.


Posted by not a troll, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:26 am

Interesting how all the "another community" posters have appeared since Menlo Park joined the suit. Too bad, as I didn't mind the fact that the HSR juggernaut had previously ignored our small city.

The federal and private investment funds don't actually exist, but are part of the shell game that the HSR supporters are playing. All things considered, it is pretty unlikely that we will see HSR within the next few decades. The only certainty is that if this flawed proposition passes, $10 billion will be diverted from taxpayers into the pockets of the HSR backers.

Web Link

Not enough perfume for this pig. The only question is whether your average California voter will see beyond the hype.


Posted by Ven, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:01 am

Some of you poeple arguing against HSR have silly points. Rail has in the past and will continue to be a big part of transportation. The rest of the civilized world sees this. We are the ones who are behind the times.

Someone said something about expanding roads and airports? Your statement(s) is ludicrous at best.


Posted by Primo Binario, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:48 am

I hate to interrupt a good argument by mentioning the facts, but the lawsuit is not the product of anti-rail or anti-environmental NIMBYs. The lawsuit objects to this route because of the lack of consideration for environmental impacts.

Menlo Park and Atherton may or may not have joined for petty concerns, but there is a bigger picture here.


Posted by let's not do the time warp again, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 7, 2008 at 10:56 am

Hello, Ven? The 19th century is calling and telling you that it's time to come home!


Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:17 am

"let not do the time warp again",

You are right, this is not the 19th century. Its time to look at the present and future and see burning huge amounts of fossil fuels by cars and planes is not the solution to cutting back pollution. Clean alternatives is the answer, like electrified High Speed Rail. Something the rest of the world sees that makes a difference, but here we don't. Just keep adding more lanes and runways. Heck, just keep doing things status quo. Maybe you should have a check yourself.

And for "not a trol",

Funny how you naysayers to this project love to spread false information all over forums and news articles about the CA HSR project, but when people come and write against the naysayers articles like this one, you get all upset. Oh, we "must be on the payroll of the rail authority". Get real and grow up!!

This state needs a public works project like this for jobs and economic growth that will provide a CLEAN ALTERNATIVE to cars and airplanes.


Posted by theo, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:29 am

"The 19th century is calling and telling you that it's time to come home!"

That's funny, considering the combustion-powered passenger car is actually OLDER than the locomotive.

Web Link

The 18th century called, it wants you to step out of your horseless carriages and let professionals do the driving.


Posted by John Wilson, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 7, 2008 at 11:46 am

It's good to see such a dustup - I'd begun to think everyone was asleep.

I'm particularly gratified that our locally elected representatives have our interests at heart for a change.

Transportation as an issue produces religious devotees, fastened on one or another technologies, corridors, or perceived applications (trans-California rail) as the object of devotion. A better approach is the problem solving approach, trying to produce specific results to deal with specific problems. In the Bay Area, the problem is getting people to work without cars, so that the economic vitality of the area can be maintained in spite of our high taxes and population pressures. If the politicians want tax revenues, they're hard to generate unless business is good.

The problem with CHSRA, in my view, is that in their religious devotion, they lost sight of all common sense in pursuit of their objective. Perhaps they will prevail in the election, but without substantial modification, what they propose is a waste of money, and does nothing to address the genuine problem of the Bay Area.

There are technological solutions to their problems, but they have so far refused to consider them. The blind advocacy of underpasses shows just how backward their proposal really is. They are also to be judged by the company they keep. Any agency or politician who backs this proposal betrays their ignorance, and their lack of understanding of the common sense issues that it carries.

Our neighbors to the north, in Marin and Sonoma counties have similar issues with SMART, and the result has come out in similar fashion: lawsuit. It's time for some fresh thinking and leadership from organizations like MTC, whose charter assigns responsibility for solutions.


Posted by not a troll, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Well said, John.

Anyone who believes that the only alternative to HSR is an increase in freeways and/or runways needs to become educated on innovative technological solutions. Fact is, market forces are rendering these old money mega-projects obsolete. For example, might want to read about Boone Pickens'plan involving energy and transportation.

"This state needs a public works project like this for jobs and economic growth that will provide a CLEAN ALTERNATIVE to cars and airplanes."

Is this about providing jobs and public works projects or about improving transit in an environmentally conscious manner? Can we try to stay focused on the issues at hand? There are other, much less disruptive, much less expensive ways to provide jobs, especially the minimum wage jobs that the state is offering..


Posted by glen, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Why did you remove my post...it was the truth


Posted by Eric, a resident of another community
on Aug 7, 2008 at 8:11 pm

not a trol,

"Is this about providing jobs and public works projects or about improving transit in an environmentally conscious manner? Can we try to stay focused on the issues at hand? There are other, much less disruptive, much less expensive ways to provide jobs, especially the minimum wage jobs that the state is offering.."

If you read my post correctly, it stated both. Maybe YOU should get focused. You obviously don't have the ability to plan/look for the future, but would rather keep staying stuck in rut.


Posted by Robbie, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Aug 7, 2008 at 8:22 pm

If I thought these cities were joining the lawsuit because they care about the environment I might be sympathetic. It's pretty clear, though, that this has more to do with concern about the impact on property values than the impact on the environment.


Posted by cn u rd ths 2?, a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Aug 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm

And what exactly makes that clear, Robbie? No one posting on this thread has mentioned property values.

If this proposition passes, a handful of people will become very rich at the expense of the taxpayers. Because of the economics of the project and the high probability of lawsuits, not just this one, it is likely that HSR will never be built. Within the next decade, I expect that we will have far better solutions for travel. Therefore, it is not very likely that passage of this proposition will have an impact on anyone's property values.


Posted by Glen, a resident of Woodside: Skywood/Skylonda
on Aug 8, 2008 at 12:39 am

[Post removed; see terms of use: Web Link]


Posted by Sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 8, 2008 at 9:37 am

I am concerned about the enormous costs when there isn't enough money to do everything we might want to do. I am also concerned that, as I understand it, the biggest deterrent to getting people out of autos is the lack of good local transit that gets people to and from where they need to go. There is a lack of an integrated transit system within our bay area (and in LA,too) that would help get more people out of cars every day than any route from SF to LA would, I would far rather invest in fixing that. And that would provide a lot of jobs, too! What's wrong with putting our bucks where we think it would make the biggest difference to our environment?


Posted by John Wilson, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Aug 8, 2008 at 2:39 pm

From your lips to lawmakers' ears, Sally.

Actually, there are elements of a potentially good integrated system already here, although some more would have to be added. The embryonic form is CalTrain, where the private shuttles of Stanford, Google, and Microsoft supplement it very well. The CalTrain/UPRR right of way is one of the most valuable pieces of real estate in the area, and is not currently well used. Further, the interests of the various right of way occupants are not fully in harmony, so considerably more could be done to align them. But, for the present, it works, even if it's primitive.

The genuine problem, as with so many things in the State, is the narrow parochialism and lack of vision in the bureaucracies in charge of these matters. Add in the voices of the large number of commercial and environmental interests, and you get gridlock. If if was only a matter of technology and construction, there are super competent people in this region.


Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm

You can view a copy of the lawsuit at

Web Link


www.derailhsr.com

Morris Brown


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2008 at 12:09 am

"I am also concerned that, as I understand it, the biggest deterrent to getting people out of autos is the lack of good local transit that gets people to and from where they need to go."

I agree, but what is this "good local transit" people are talking about? When people talk about having a lack of transit in their area, like in SF, it's almost as if they won't be happy until a bus picks them up at their doorstep and drives them straight to work.

Transit won't always be faster for everybody. In some cases you'll be able to beat the traffic. In some cases you'll fall through the cracks. Much of that is dependent on where you live.

For sitting in a country that is historically anti-rail, I'd say the Bay Area is doing pretty damn well.

Transit can work for you, but you can also work to make transit better for you. Consider living or working near transit orientated developments. Move to more walkable areas. Use the extra time you have to spend riding the bus or train to be productive. I study or listen to my favorite radio show, which is what I'd be doing if I were home anyway.

I see people complaining about the lack of transit in the boondocks where I live. Well, I support transit as much as anybody, but no one is going to build rail lines in the middle of nowhere, unless you are the North County Transit District. At some point you'll have to move closer to civilization or just continue driving.


Posted by Joseph E. Davis, a resident of Woodside: Emerald Hills
on Aug 9, 2008 at 8:42 am

Let's hope that this ridiculous porker of a project never gets off the ground. California is broke to start with. The economic benefits from high speed rail will never repay the investment. We'd be lucky to lose only 50%.

Vote NO on exorbitant government spending projects.


Posted by Love trains but not hsr, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Hills
on Aug 9, 2008 at 9:00 am

Spokker, you clearly have no idea of our geography or our transit options. This is not L.A! Nor is it San Francisco, where residents do have plenty of transit options--and use them!

HSR may sound glamorous with its sleek cars and luxurious interiors, but the hype doesn't conceal the fact that this is a pork barrel project that is going to cost the taxpayers far more than it benefits us.


Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 9, 2008 at 11:54 am

Why did Atherton and Menlo Park join the lawsuit? Two reasons.

1. The lawsuit is based on CEQA and is filed because the CHSRA EIS/EIR is full of lies, omissions, distortions and many misleading statements. In short, our cities seek justice through legal means. Feel free to read the specifics in the lawsuit yourself. If you wish, I can send you the PDF file. Without such corrections, voters in California, including all of us, will go to the polls totally uniformed about what the bond issue is really all about.

2. The City Council has the obligation to protect the city from harmful incursions. The construction of the high-speed train on the Caltrain corridor is precisely such a harmful incursion. (Please note that this has nothing to do with high-speed trains in general, or in California for that matter.) This has to do with the fact that when the high-speed train bond issue passes this November, the following can be expected in Menlo Park:

a. The elevation of the rail corridor to 15 ft. above grade by either berm or retaining wall through the entire city.
b. Installation of catenary towers and cables above that by about 20 ft. more
c. The widening of the rail corridor to accommodate four tracks, to at least 75 ft. wide at the top. With a berm, it would be well over 100 ft. wide at the base.
d. Either the grade separation of Ravenswood by under-pass and the closing of the other three streets, or, Menlo Park can pay for the grade separation of the other three streets, or, the CHSRA will pay for the grade separation of all four streets.
e. The removal of all trees on both sides of the rail corridor.
f. The taking of public and private lands along the rail corridor by eminent domain.
g. The building of a temporary rail line (shoofly) on one side of the rail corridor for the operation of Caltrain during construction.
h. The permanent closing of many downtown businesses due to the length of time and the disruption caused by the construction.
i. Huge traffic disruptions.
j. Undetermined, and as yet not budgeted costs to the city.
k. Serious sales tax increases to cover regional and local costs.

That should do for starters. Don't say you haven't been warned.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2008 at 2:03 pm

I'm playing the world's smallest violin for you, Martin.

You mean when I live in a city, there may be this thing called construction? *gasp* And *I* might be inconvenienced by it?

Sigh, I guess I'll just have to take it. Oh wait, I just remembered I'm rich and white! With my richness and whiteness I can stop any public infrastructure project dead in its tracks with pointless lawsuits.

"And I'm proud to be an American..."


Posted by get the costs right, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 9, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Written above:

@troll and Sally - Yes, Menlo Park can have grade separations without HSR if we are willing to put up at least $20 million/crossing.

GET YOUR COSTS RIGHT.

Grade separations are about $100,000,000 each, that is 100 Million dollars each. Not $20,000,000 each.

How do I know this.

Lost the the cost for doing the separations in San Bruno and San Mateo.

We are not playing with peanuts here folks. The latest from the CHSRA seems to be they might give us one separation, and close off the streets at the other three. Disaster for Menlo Park. Likewise for Atherton.




Posted by Suffering fools, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 9, 2008 at 4:29 pm

[Post removed; see terms of use.]


Posted by sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 9, 2008 at 5:53 pm

There are many, many car trips that even an improved Caltrain can't fix - getting to/from stores, schools, music lessons, church/synagogue, doctor, sports activities and playing fields for example. Caltrain service to Menlo Park is not as good as it used to be, and does nothing to address these needs. HSR would help even less.
Why can't we look at the bulk of the travel and what we can do to reduce car use, not the infrequent long distance trips?


Posted by Glen, a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Before your Republican/Commiwhat/Nazi/ editor removes this..THE only reason that you self rich people only think of one thing..ME ME how about all the people that gave for your OIL based freeways? Please answer..?


Posted by forward thinking, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Aug 9, 2008 at 9:28 pm

Glen, if I can decipher your post, you're claiming that people who don't support HSR are in favor of increasing our dependence on foreign oil by remaining addicted to old-fashioned automobiles.

Try to look ahead instead of backwards. Think of harnessing solar and wind power, imagine vehicles that rely on renewable sources of energy. Science fiction? Hardly: the nascent technology exists and within the next few years will be implemented on a larger scale in a cost-effective manner.

Don't confuse senseless political acts of war with the very real concerns that many of us have regarding transportation options. HSR is a costly step in the wrong direction. If we had money to burn, maybe that cost wouldn't be an issue, but we don't and it is.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm

"Try to look ahead instead of backwards."

Looking to rail for solutions is not looking backyards. Steel wheel on steel rail technology is today's technology. It's not outdated. It's not backwards. It's been proven to be an effective technology the world over. It's still in use today, has become a dominant or competitive means of transportation in many countries and will be for hundreds of years.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 9, 2008 at 10:23 pm

"Why can't we look at the bulk of the travel and what we can do to reduce car use, not the infrequent long distance trips?"

Why don't the citizens of Menlo Park get out of their cars and ride the bus down the street to the store/church/whatever? Why don't you build a light rail line or trolley to/from your most important city centers?

No, HSR won't address your city or county's transportation issues. It's a state project. Your city or county should address your local transportation issues.


Posted by get the cost right, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 10, 2008 at 4:31 am

Written above:

@troll and Sally - Yes, Menlo Park can have grade separations without HSR if we are willing to put up at least $20 million/crossing.

GET YOUR COSTS RIGHT.

Grade separations are about $100,000,000 each, that is 100 Million dollars each. Not $20,000,000 each.

How do I know this.

Look at the the costs for doing the separations in San Bruno and San Mateo.

We are not playing with peanuts here folks. The latest from the CHSRA seems to be they might give us one separation, and close off the streets at the other three. Disaster for Menlo Park. Likewise for Atherton.


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 10, 2008 at 6:29 am

Spokker, you're argument is that we are all white and rich? The same argument as the paid blogger henchman who are pushing HSR...hmmmm. First, trying to play class warfare off of HSR is akin to playing the race card. It is a sad and pathetic act of desperation.

Stick to the facts and the facts are that the HSR refused to respond to the concerns voice by Menlo Park for the past five years. You so rigorously defend rail, but this is not about rail. It is about communities and working out a solution that works.

Any town with residential located within a few hundred feet of a 150 MPH rail system would want to defend itself.

Shame on you for taking a card out of the Rove political book.

For all you know I am not rich, nor white and I am offended by your blatant attempt to manipulate this discussion.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2008 at 9:13 am

"Spokker, you're argument is that we are all white and rich?"

Menlo Park

"The racial makeup of the city was 68.35% White, 9.03% African American, 0.54% Native American, 6.15% Asian, 1.46% Pacific Islander, 9.56% from other races, and 4.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.60% of the population.

As of the 1999 census, the median income for a household in the city was $84,609."

Atherton

"The racial makeup of the town was 85.36% White, 0.70% African American, 0.17% Native American, 9.79% Asian, 0.42% Pacific Islander, 1.00% from other races, and 2.57% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.98% of the population.

The median income for a household in the town was in excess of $200,000, as is the median income for a family.

The median home value was at $1,000,001 at 2000. In 2005, Atherton's 94027 zip code was identified by Forbes magazine as the most affluent ZIP in the U.S."


Posted by oops, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Aug 10, 2008 at 1:46 pm

Hey, Spokker, guess what? You just proved that we're not all white and we're not all rich! In fact, the average Menlo Park household income is awfully low for a community in which a starter home costs over a million dollars.


Posted by Sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 10, 2008 at 3:21 pm

I do agree that our city and county, and also the entire bay area region, need to address our regional transportation problems. State funds often are involved, so I DO CARE what happens at the state level, too. Maybe some of you have the means to pay whatever it takes to do everything you think is best, but I don't. So I think we need to set priorities and my vote is not to spend limited funds on HSR.


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 10, 2008 at 5:33 pm

Spokker, what does Quentin Kopp make these days for a salary, where does he live and and what race is he?

He is the ardent champion of the current plan as I read it, so this is just as relevant based on your questionable argument.

He is as white as the background of this post. Does that make any difference? He is more wealthy than most anyone I know too. Does that mean Mr. Kopp is misguided? Corrupt? No it does not. He is a well intended civic leader.

Menlo Park just happens to disagree with him and his entourage (of which you are one).

Try to show some respect and get out of the gutter with your class/race BS politics. This was never about class or race until you rail extremists made it so. Rovesque for a Democratic Party...is nothing sacred?


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

"Try to show some respect and get out of the gutter with your class/race BS politics. This was never about class or race until you rail extremists made it so."

The opposition in Atherton and Menlo Park are acting like the stereotypical NIMBY "community" (remember, you guys don't live in cities, you live in "communities"). We also have relatively wealthy residents in Los Angeles (Cheviot Hills) opposing construction of the new Expo Line. Orange County also suffers from a lack of rail. I don't think it's a coincidence that all these places are rich and white.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

"So I think we need to set priorities and my vote is not to spend limited funds on HSR."

The cost of doing nothing is not zero. I believe that this project will continue to benefit people for hundreds of years. In fact, the largest benefit might be experienced by people two or three generations from now, when we're all gone and dead.

That we as a state had the foresight to usher this project into existence will be a part of our legacy, as opposed to, "God, people were stupid back then."

For people to oppose this project because of potentially noisy, dusty, and traffic jam inducing construction is a great example of the "Hey, I got mine!" mentality in America. Then these same people will turn around and say, "We can't saddle our children and our children's children with this debt!"

To not build a high speed rail network for them is far more selfish.


Posted by better a nimby than a dumby, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 10, 2008 at 11:15 pm

Spokker is a sock puppet wannabe, folks. No point in trying to carry on a discussion with it.


Posted by sally, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Aug 11, 2008 at 7:39 am

Contrary to what some seem to think, I and others do care about the future for our children and our grandchildren. Ever heard of climate change? We need to reduce car travel NOW, and HSR won't make a lick of difference for many years.
One author asked why we don't take the bus. Well, it doesn't run when or where most of us need to go! Some of us can't get around that easily, have jobs, and can't spend hours in transit just to get to errands and appointments. Have you read the article by Rory Brown about his attempt to use public transit?
If HSR is such a good idea, we will get to it eventually. Again, to me and many others it is not my highest priority for investment right now.


Posted by Tom, a resident of another community
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:14 am

I have a question that I'm hoping either Mr. Brown or Mr. Engle might be able to enlighten me about--I've been impressed with their knowledge of this subject. My question isn't necessarily pointed toward whether HSR is good or bad, but rather to whether the cost of filing the law suit at this time is a wise decision. To my question-the original Almanac article states that "...the goal of the lawsuit is to cause delays and add costs" to the project. It didn't say that the goal was to stop the project if it is approved by the voters in November. Just to delay its implementation and raise the overall cost. Wouldn't it be wiser to wait to see if the project passes if the only goal of the suit is to delay the project? If it doesn't pass, no legal fees. If it does, since the goal is only to delay it, not stop it, then there is ample time to spend some money in the courts and accomplish the goal. What am I missing?


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 11, 2008 at 8:43 am

All due respect to Martin and Morris, but they should not be the final say in the details of a lawsuit filed by the city and voted on by the city council. The same should be said for Derry and Morris. Doesn't this seem a bit odd?


Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 11, 2008 at 9:41 am

Thanks for asking. To be absolutely clear, I had no idea that the city would vote for and pass an agreement to join in this lawsuit. I have had no involvement with this lawsuit. It is not Menlo Park's lawsuit, and both Atherton and Menlo Park joined it at the last minute.

Furthermore, I take no credit or blame for decisions make by the city council. And, I'm sure they will be the first to tell you so. Like everyone else on this thread, or better, like everyone else in our city (and our country), I have a Constitutional First Amendment right of free speech to express my views. And, by the same token, everyone is free to ignore, agree or disagree with those views.

Let me state my position once more. The HSR has issued and approved of an EIS/EIR that is full of omissions and false statements. In the absence of a business plan, it is the only comprehensive statement about what the $10 billion bond issue will buy. The only legal remedy for this situation is a lawsuit. The voters of California have a right to obtain an honest explanation about where they tax dollars will be spent.

Please read the language of the lawsuit itself. Morris has provided a web link to the lawsuit up above in this thread.

Finally, it continues to be a puzzle to me why there is so much harsh and personal language from those who feel free to cower (perhaps trembling with fear or rage) behind the mask of pseudonyms. After all, it's not about politics, sex or religion, it's about a railroad train. Why so much anger? Much of the commentary appears to be a variation of road rage, enjoyed from the anonymity of their cars.


Posted by parent, a resident of Encinal School
on Aug 11, 2008 at 10:18 am

Funny how the arguments of all the posters from "another community" are incredibly immature, resorting to insulting HSR detractors' intelligence using teenage-level putdowns rather than thoughtfully addressing community concerns using actual facts and rational statements in an attempt to persuade dissenters of what they perceive to be the benefits of the rail project.

Reeks of young interns paid by the construction company to troll this site, to me.


Posted by Puzzled, a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Aug 11, 2008 at 3:29 pm

I think the No. 1 reason people drive from the Bay Area to LA (and vice-versa) is because they'll need a car to get around when they are there. Airfare plus the cost of renting a car doesn't pencil out for most trips, especially for families.

How is high speed rail going to change this equation? Is a train ticket going to be so much cheaper than a plane ticket that it will negate the cost of a car rental? Or is everyone expected to bicycle around the greater LA area?

I'm wondering who the target demographic is for the high speed rail service.


Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 11, 2008 at 5:48 pm

You need no longer be puzzled, Puzzled. To find the answer to your question, all you need to do is check today's prices for high-speed train tickets in various countries of Europe or Japan. Let's just say here that it's the most expensive train ride you can find.
And, those trains are government subsidized. You may also wish to check Acela prices.

High-speed rail is the icing on the cake of a highly developed rail system throughout Europe and Japan. This California version will be all icing, with no cake.

Now, here's the irony. The CHSRA promoters keep stating that a one-way ticket from SF to LA will cost $55. on their train. You can't go from Emeryville to LA on an Amtrak train right now for that little (and it takes at least a day). And, their $55 price won't be in effect until 2020, when the train is supposed to be operating. Would you predict the price of anything 12 years out?

So, it should be clear that this train would be a luxury train. You can see that in the videos they play on their website. It will be like flying first or business class. And that's the intended market. "Suits" with laptops. So, the question becomes, should the taxpayers of California subsidize company travel expenses for corporate executives?

Another question that you might puzzle about is why take the train at all? Why not keep on flying? You might say that flying will get more expensive. Yes, but, it will continue to be OPM, other people's money; an expense account, a deductible business expense. And, flying will continue to be faster, regardless of the promises the train promoters make.

The developers say the train will stop in Anaheim. Aha, a tourist train; the Disneyland Express. (Entry tickets at Disneyland are $75.) Perhaps the Disney people will give train discounts if you come to Disneyland. Then the question becomes, is this the proper investment for our cash-strapped state when it's already in deep economic trouble?

Our school dropout rate is close to 50%. Will we become the state with the high-speed train and the low-speed schools?

They now say that construction of this train will cost $45 billion. Where will that come from? The bond issue on the November ballot is for $9.95 billion. Who will pay for the rest?


Posted by not so fast, a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Aug 11, 2008 at 10:28 pm

The comparison to Acela is apt. I believe it is the only example of HSR in this country, and it covers a corridor similar in travel intensity to the SF-LA-SD route. Acela cuts an hour or less off the regular Amtrak trip and costs at least twice as much (3x as much during peak hours). And Amtrak costs 3x as much as the intercity bus, the cheapest mode of public transportation.

Has Acela affected air traffic? Given that a New York-DC trip takes about 3 hours via airplane or by Acela, you would expect to see a decrease in air traffic, but the statistics I've seen don't reflect any drop in air travel between the city pairs served by Acela.

I like Boone Pickens' emphasis on getting gas-guzzling trucks rather than cars off the freeway. If our concern is about helping the environment and not using as much imported energy, then lets implement more efficient ways to move freight. And, of course, improve local transit options.


Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 12, 2008 at 3:51 am

Tom:

Please note that our group, DERAIL

www.derailhsr.com

of which Martin Engel, Mike Brady and myself are founders
is not a party to the lawsuit. We did not comment on the EIR and DERAIL therefore has no standing with the courts, and could not join in the lawsuit. We certainly support the objectives of the lawsuit.

Please note, the petitioners asked the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) permission to extend the deadline for filing a lawsuit until after the election this fall. CHSRA refused to give their permission. Under CEQA law, a suit must be filed within 30 days after certification of an EIR, unless such permission is granted (a tolling agreement).

The object of the lawsuit is not to delay the project, but to address the serious environmental problems that the present project creates. The CHSRA has just brushed aside these issues and the only way to get them addressed is through the courts.

Please realize that the leadership of the CHSRA has been so arrogant that they certify an EIR which deals with using the corridor owned by the Union Pacific Rail Road (UP). The never had any agreement with the UP, and the UP finally, in public, had to announce that their corridor was not for sale and that the CHSRA could not use their corridor for their project. This is one of many objections raised in the lawsuit.

I hope this answers your questions raised above.

Morris


Posted by tom, a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2008 at 8:20 am

Morris, thank you (and Martin) for the responses. It sounds to me like Sequoia School District used the CHSRA handbook on arrogance when they decided to build that new fine arts monstrosity without an EIR. Just for the record, while I'm not a resident of either MP or Atherton, I am fortunate to work in MP, so I, too, care. Following this great string of pros & cons has enabled me to form an opinion on how I'll cast my vote on HSR - its a big NO from me.


Posted by Tom West, a resident of another community
on Aug 12, 2008 at 9:23 am

Sure, the Pancheo pass would have served more communuities - but they got all NIMBY and said they didn't want. So, the faster Alatmont ruote got chosen instead.


Posted by roxie, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 12, 2008 at 10:04 am

I am appalled that the city council did this. With the exception of John Boyle, who voted against joining the lawsuit, the city council showed their lack of concern for the future of our planet. Mass transit programs are vital to moving this country towards independance from fossil fuels and lowering our carbon footprint. The City Council should consider the needs and desires of all citizens as well as future impacts when making decisions. Instead, the desires of a few citizens who bought their homes next to railroad tracks, knowing full well the consequences of such, are the only ones considered by the council majority whenever any rail issues come before this council.

This is just disgusting--Menlo Park fights the brave fight against mass transit programs. Way to go Green city council.




Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 12, 2008 at 10:56 am

Roxie, are seriously that allergic to looking at the bigger picture? Trying to say council was anti-HSR or anti-green by taking a position against the current proposal is just blatant manipulation.

Try this on for size.

We have no plan from HSRA that has been presented to fund this project aside from the $10B from our pockets. We have no answer as to how rail will be built through MP and what types of models we need to consider. There have been no responses to MP's five or six or seven letters to the HSRA asking for these answers...dating back to 2004.

You want to risk it all on sexy electric train dream and a bare boned pitch, then when do we draw the line? Tell me please.

Why does everyone seem to throw up on the idea of planning and research before making decisions? This lawsuit costs no money and MP can remove itself from the suit if it gets the answers to its questions. The vote, however, is a one time shot. You cannot take it back if you approve this ballot measure.

As you can see from the freaked out HSRA advocates above, at least they are finally paying attention to MP.

No plan, no funding details, no idea as to impacts on our city...who really lacks concern for our future?

You do my dear. You and everyone else who claims to be about responsible planning but froth at the mouth about anything green.

We are doomed with that attitude.


Posted by no to hsr, a resident of Menlo Park: Stanford Weekend Acres
on Aug 12, 2008 at 11:04 am

Roxie, get beyond the hype and see what this is all about. This project is actually not pro-environment but pro-enriching a few already rich people.

From the post above:

"The object of the lawsuit is not to delay the project, but to address the serious environmental problems that the present project creates. The CHSRA has just brushed aside these issues and the only way to get them addressed is through the courts."

It's precisely because the HSR backers have NOT examined the environmental impacts that the suit was filed. The organizations that filed the lawsuit do not comprise people who live next to the tracks but people who are concerned about the environment!

Thank you, Morris and Martin, for enlightening us.


Posted by common sense, a resident of Menlo Park: Linfield Oaks
on Aug 12, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Environmental reviews are intended to protect humans and other living things. If there are concerns with the analysis and remedies identified so far, then I fully support getting to the bottom of the issues. If it takes a lawsuit to force this, so be it. I certainly would hope that everyone would support this, too, regardless of your opinions about HSR itself.
This is like getting angry because a plane has been delayed due to mechanical problems. Common sense says to make sure things are right. There's too much at stake to ignore problems and push for a takeoff.


Posted by Roxie, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 12, 2008 at 9:52 pm

First, I wish to apologize to Councilman Robinson and Mayor Cohen, since they did not actually vote place the city on this lawsuit. My reading of the Almanac's article led me to an incorrect conclusion. Mayor Cohen had recused himself from voting and councilman Robinson was not present. Councilman Boyle voted against this action, so only council members Fergusson and Cline have voted to place the city on this ridiculous lawsuit.


The plaintiffs listed in this lawsuit are the City of Menlo Park, Town of Atherton, four nonprofit corporations PLANNING AND CONSERVATION LEAGUE, TRANSPORTATION SOLUTIONS DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND, CALIFORNIA RAIL FOUNDATION and BAYRAIL ALLIANCE, and other similarly situated entities, Petitioners and Plaintiffs who are anonymous.

Their reason for suing involves the choice of Pacheco Pass to connect the Bay Area to the Central Valley instead of the Altamont Pass route. The suit claims the Altamont Pass route should have been chosen. There were pros and cons for both routes, and all sides had opportunities to make their cases before the decision was made. These groups are just mad that they lost, this lawsuit is not about the cost of High Speed Rail, as so many have claimed, or its overall impacts, it is just an argument over where it will be put. In fact, the plaintiffs in the lawsuit even argue that a route along Highway 280 should have been considered more closely – obviously anywhere but along the railroad tracks where certain people bought their houses.

There are no major environmental groups named in this lawsuit (such as the Sierra Club), the Planning and Conservation League is a lobbying organization, while its mission is to lobby for environmental causes, since there are conflicting opinions between the rail routes, one can debate whether this is an purely objective decision against the Pacheco route or perhaps the lobbyists are being paid by others who oppose the Pacheco route to be against it.

I found a more thoughtful and researched article about this lawsuit and how it looks to people outside of our city on the Calitics.com Blogsite, here's a link to it

Web Link


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 12, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Roxie omits one key fact. The most important fact in my opinion. There is NO plan Roxie! No basis for funding! No plan!

I fully endorse Kelly and Cline on this one. We need people to step up for our community and get answers not ideologues like Boyle who talk out of both side of their mouths. You of all people should know better, Roxie.


Posted by Roxie, a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Aug 13, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Hi Truth,

I think someone has been dishonest with you. This lawsuit is not against the High Speed Rail, it is only against the choice of routes. The people bringing this suite fully support High Speed Rail, thier lawyer even says so as reported by the San Fransisco Chronicle : "Flashman said the plaintiffs support high-speed rail and offered to withhold their lawsuit until after the election if the authority agreed to extend the deadline for filing suit...,"

Here is a link to that story Web Link

Even councilmember Cline says he is not against High Speed Rail, that he just wants to add extra checks and eir's in the process of building it (even though millions have been spent on EIRs already).

It would be a pretty slimey strategy to claim to some people that you basically endorse High Speed Rail plan, and so defuse the environmental and social arguments they might have against trying to stop it, and at the same time encourage people like yourself who believe that the entire plan is ill-concieved that they agree with you and are trying to stop HSR. Do you think someone is trying to do that? Has someone filing this lawsuit told you that their real aim to to torpedo California's High Speed Rail Project even if the voters of California approve it?


Posted by truth, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Aug 13, 2008 at 9:29 pm

Roxie, I may have miscommunicated my point. I agree with Cline that HSR does not need to be blown up to get proper answers or responses to local concerns. I think that is the spirit of my point. Although I am concerned about funding sources as are many people, I think the merits of HSR are very appealing.

I have not been approached by anyone selling both sides of the story...yet.


Posted by need to get away!, a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Aug 13, 2008 at 9:58 pm

$98. round trip SFO/SJC=LAX advance purchase or websaver weekend on the majors.
What fool would give up an inspiring 55 minute aerial view of our Golden State to be crammed into a rail car with inspiring(?) ground level, head spinning, eye straining views of our "verdant" South San Joaquin sage brush? I've been on the TGV in France from Paris to Grenoble, it's like Marin/Napa/Tahoe with all the trimmings. Not so in these parts that HSR is touting with it's Pacheco=San Joaquin-Grapevine "scenic route".
Answer: Government employees who are told "get on the train or get lost", lobbyists for Tudor, Bechtel, Parsons, Brinkerhoff,... maybe a few Cheney White House types who will tell you that $85 BILLION FOR PRIVATE CONTRACTORS that OMB just revealed will make Iraq "safe for democracy",... among other snake oil types.
Arnold, this is not Austria/Sudaten, where petrol is so expensive and the well developed rail/bus system is nationalized/socialized.
This is a scam of epic proportions.
Don't be deceived by born again "clean" transportation advocates.
They are already in your pockets.


Posted by No fool, a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Aug 14, 2008 at 10:34 am

Don't be fooled by T. Boone Pickens. He's out to Pickens our pockets.


Posted by Spokker, a resident of another community
on Aug 15, 2008 at 3:05 pm

"$98. round trip SFO/SJC=LAX advance purchase or websaver weekend on the majors."

Haha and how long is that going to last?

Web Link

"Michael Derchin, an airline analyst with FTN Midwest Securities, agrees with the ATA number and believes that airfares will increase by another 8.5% to 9.5% after Labor Day. He said airlines will cut back on the number of lower-cost tickets.

"I don't see it as raising the fares," said Derchin. "I see it as the airlines restricting the availability of the lowest fares, and forcing people to pay the higher fares that are already in place.""

So much for those super saver web fares. Good luck getting them.

Booyah.


Posted by pragmatic, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Aug 15, 2008 at 4:01 pm

And Acela charges $140 for a trip that's half as long as the SF-LA trip. So, let's see, $300 each way if this HSR ever gets built? I'll take the 10% increase in air fares, thank you anyway.


Posted by Willow Glen resident, a resident of another community
on Nov 5, 2008 at 7:14 am

HOW can the Willow Glen area of San Jose join this lawsuit?


Posted by Lionel Gambill, a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2008 at 2:50 pm

We thought Marin was unique in being so insular that it would reject a chance for a low-emissions rail system. Now Marin has helped pass our rail ballot measure and I discover insularity on the mid-Peninsula, where I lived for many years. Yes, absolutely, HSRA is pursuing the wrong alignment, and Yes, Altamont Pass is far superior, and yes, we need to build a new rail bridge anyway for the Dumbarton commuter rail project.
But rejecting high-speed rail or any good rail system makes no sense. In France the first TGV high-speed rail system was financed largely with private capital and paid back its 20-year loan in 9 years. It's been so successful they've had to double-deck the second generation of TGVs and still run on three-minute headways at peak times. The success formula is simple: connect two cities that are about 400 miles apart and have heavy airline traffic and you have a winner. LA and the Bay Area are about 400 miles apart and it's the most heavily traveled airline route in the world. Our auto-dependence must end or life on earth certainly will end.


Posted by Curious, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Dec 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

What impact, if any, does the HSR project have on Dumbarton rail?


Posted by Anton, a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jun 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Cool!


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