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Guest opinion: Midpeninsula residents need to wake up

Original post made on Jun 27, 2014

Many residents of the Midpeninsula are about to witness the destruction of hundreds of mature trees lining the Caltrain corridor. This destruction and ripping out of trees will be conducted by Caltrain pursuant to its "visionary" electrification program.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 12:00 AM

Comments (15)

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Posted by member
a resident of another community
on Jun 27, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Wake Up Indeed ... These Peninsula trees are a natural legacy that, once cut, will not be seen again in most of our children's lifetimes! This, to say nothing of the added noise, loss of 'mature' visual screening, and LOWERED PROPERTY VALUES, would be a landmark alteration of our natural environment and our estetic culture in Menlo Park and the Peninsula. Trees are at the historical-heart of the exquisite quality of life in Menlo 'PARK' ... a 100+ year legacy that we need to save. Contracted train designers, planners and engineers know that it is cheaper to clear-cut, as with any freeway construction ... but THEY DO NOT LIVE HERE, WE WILL! RESIDENTS SPEAK UP, SAVE THESE TREES !!


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Posted by Tree Man
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 27, 2014 at 6:13 pm

Mr Lawyer Man, hired to lobby for these interesting allegations: Source of this claim? "There are 20,000 trees between San Francisco and San Jose, many of them mature and beautiful."

Also: How many trees total are in San Mateo County?

Also: "And do you realize that electricity is generated by fossil fuels (all you environmentalists pay attention)?" Uhh, want to take a look at California electricity generation?

"In 2011, California produced 70% of the electricity it uses; the rest was imported from the Pacific Northwest (10%) and the U.S. Southwest (20%). Natural gas is the main source for electricity generation at 45% of the total in-state electric generation system power." Web Link

Tell us again how diesel is cleaner than natural gas and renewables, of which more and more will be online every year. Every time you see a building with new solar panels (coming wildly down in price, electricity becomes cleaner.)


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Posted by Tree Man
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm

More evidence that every day, America's electricity gets 'greener' than diesel:

"on March 26, wind generation on the electric grid covering most of the state of Texas reached a new instantaneous peak output of 10,296 megawatts (MW). At that moment, wind supplied almost 29% of total electricity load, according to ... the grid's operator."


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 28, 2014 at 4:12 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

That's great when the wind is blowing. What happens when it's not?


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Posted by Tree Man
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Jun 28, 2014 at 5:45 pm

Solar.

Geothermal.

Hydro.

Wind.

Conservation.

Natural Gas.

Then the most expensive, and big government, of all: nukes.

Last? Dirty diesel, oil and coal.

Your solution?


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Posted by Tunbridge Wells
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 29, 2014 at 7:59 am

Tunbridge Wells is a registered user.

MIke Brady makes his living by being opposed to trains. Anything he says needs to be taken with that in mind.

Caltrain desperately needs electrification. Caltrain is jammed full at commute hours, which is better than having extra cars jamming up 101 or El Camino. Electrification will give Caltrain extra capacity, which will give even more people the option of not driving. Getting rid of the diesel locomotives is good for our air, getting more cars off the roads is also good for our air.

The trees that are on the Caltrain Right of Way are their property, and it's my understanding that Caltrain needs no permission from any local government to take out trees, unlike most property owners, so even without electrification Caltrain could remove trees if they wished. Using the tree issue to oppose electrification is a weak red herring.

Mike Brady's clients oppose trains. This "guest opinion" is just another attempt to spread Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Don't buy it.


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Posted by not so
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 29, 2014 at 8:40 am

Residents are being notified that their properties and their trees are subject to eminent domain to support Caltrain's plans. Some of the trees are beautiful, old, heritage trees on private property.

It is not true that Caltrain owns all the land and trees it would affect. Not at all.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 29, 2014 at 9:41 am

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Treeman:

The other problem with wind power is that wind farms kill raptors. Lot's of them. So while they may be good for part of the environment they're bad for another part.

My solution? Nuclear power.


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Posted by peninsula resident
a resident of Menlo-Atherton High School
on Jun 29, 2014 at 10:18 am

Tunbridge Wells wrote:
> Caltrain is jammed full at commute hours, which is
> better than having extra cars jamming up 101 or El
> Camino. Electrification will give Caltrain extra
> capacity,

There are more effective long-term methods to increase capacity than electrification. More rail cars and another track would be much more effective.


> The trees that are on the Caltrain Right of Way are
> their property

Not true. The JPB owns the right of way from Tambien to the City near 5th&King (SF owns the land at the 5th&King station, but either Caltrain or JPB has controlling interest).

Union Pacific owns the ROW south of Tambien.

U.P. is an important consideration here. They have usage rights on the ROW, even north of Tambien. If UP has any concerns about the electrical lines interfering with freight service, they can kill electrification.

Question: does anyone know of any examples of the coexistence of diesel-driven freight rail and electrified local rail on the same tracks? I am not aware of any.


> it's my understanding that Caltrain needs no
> permission from any local government to take
> out trees

Caltrain is bound by EIR requirements just like every other agency in the area. They most certainly cannot chop down any tree at their whim.


References WRT Union Pacific:
Web Link

Web Link


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Posted by nukes
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Jun 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Nukes cost too much. The biggest of government subsidies plus government storage for life.

Of the planet.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jun 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.

Last I checked wind and solar are subsidized by the government as well.


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Posted by Stats
a resident of Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks
on Jun 29, 2014 at 4:10 pm

The number of trees slated for removal in the EIR is about 2000, many of them "volunteers".
Web Link
The report estimates that about 2,220 trees would be removed for the project and another 3,616 pruned. This includes the removal of 188 trees in Menlo Park, 177 trees in Palo Alto and 284 in Mountain View, which is second only to Sunnyvale's 497.

I can't imagine why you chose to exaggerate the negative consequences by 5-10x.



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Posted by not so
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Jun 29, 2014 at 5:08 pm

Eminent domain has been threatened on PRIVATE property. Notices have been issued.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks
on Jun 30, 2014 at 12:16 pm

The only thing more expensive than nukes is the wasted money on nitrogen fuel cell research. Trees are renewable. Just take a walk throught the Open Space District Land if you need your tree fix...provided they let you in there.


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Posted by vandie
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jun 30, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Name a nukle-ah plant insured by the free market.

Insurance companies won't touch 'em. Big guvmint has to step in and pay for it. Had to pass a big guvmint law forcing it.

Now... find a solar plant or a gas plant NOT insured by the free market.

To the top poster - theres 4.789321 million tterd in SMC.

Give or take a couple milliion.


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