News - April 7, 2010

Briefs: Report to examine high-speed rail options

A report will be released April 8 analyzing alternative alignments for the San Jose-to-San Francisco segment of the proposed high-speed rail system.

Prepared by the staff of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, the report will include the Menlo Park and Atherton parts of the route.

"This information should include much more detailed analyses of the pros and cons of the potential alignment alternative designs ('at grade,' elevated, and tunnel/trench) for the HSR tracks," said Menlo Park Councilman John Boyle in a Sunday e-mail.

The report will be presented at the authority's board meeting, starting at 9 a.m. Thursday, April 8, at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors' Chambers at 70 West Hedding St. in San Jose.

"We'll no doubt have follow-up forums and events held locally, but the first look at this information will be available to the public at this board meeting," Mr. Boyle said.

Board asked to rescind appointment

Atherton resident and open-government advocate Peter Carpenter has made good on his threat to try to force the governing board of the Sequoia Union High School District to rescind its appointment of Assistant Superintendent James Lianides to succeed Superintendent Patrick Gemma, who announced plans to retire in June.

In an April 5 letter to the board, attorney James M. Chadwick of the Menlo Park firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton requests that the board rescind its actions of Feb. 24, when it voted 4-1 in closed session to limit the candidate search to district employees, and the subsequent appointment of Mr. Lianides on March 17.

Mr. Chadwick cites cases from the 1980s to support a claim that the state's open-government law, the Brown Act, allows legislative bodies to discuss individuals in closed session but not matters of process.

Attorneys for the Sequoia district have said that the district's actions were legal.


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