Almanac

Viewpoint - August 18, 2010

Letter: Not surprised at director's decision to avoid Peninsula

Mr. (Rod) Diridon's recent announcement that he would avoid the mid-Peninsula and discussions of high-speed rail came as no surprise to me.

Some months ago, I attended an early meeting on high-speed rail, hoping to learn more about the issue. At that time I felt sure that high-speed rail was "an essential part of our infrastructure." Mr. Diridon (a member of the rail authority board of directors) made a presentation that was uninspired and uninformative. Basically, he said that high-speed rail is coming, like it or not.

In my mind, I objected at that time to his high-handed and dismissive approach. When he finished his presentation, he did not even have the common decency to stay and listen to other comments about the high-speed rail project. At no time during his presentation was he "shouted down," nor were people "rude" to him. Any rudeness was that of Mr. Diridon, who couldn't be bothered to stay and listen to any of the cogent and substantive criticisms which were made of the high-speed rail project.

I am not surprised that he will not be coming to any further meetings because he is deaf to any criticisms of this boondoggle project. Incidentally, I did stay until the end of the meeting and at that time turned 180 degrees in my thinking about the high-speed rail project.

There may be merit in high-speed rail from San Diego to San Jose, but it seems clear to me that what is needed is simple upgrading and connection of the present system from San Jose to San Francisco and Sacramento.

Melvin C. Britton, M.D., Toyon Road, Atherton

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