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Senators push for rail oversight, outreach

Original post made on May 3, 2009

Local officials and residents aren't alone in their concern about a "lack of transparency" and inadequate oversight in the state's quest to build a $40 billion high-speed rail system: A state Senate subcommittee Thursday expressed concerns about the structure of the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Sunday, May 3, 2009, 10:16 AM

Comments (5)

Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 3, 2009 at 3:12 pm

Finally. After more than five years of trying to get this message out, it is finally being heard. For a very long time, it seemed as if we, Morris Brown, Mike Brady and myself, were the only ones who were saying that "the Emperor is wearing no clothes!" We have been abused and denigrated in endless ad hominem comments and emails from both the rail supporters and, would you believe it, our own allies. No matter. A sleeping giant – the people, citizens and residents of the Peninsula – is waking up. All the abusive comments in the world, directed at us, will fall on deaf ears. The truth is finally becoming available to everyone. As I have been saying all these years, this project is not about trains, high-speed or otherwise; it's about the money. It's about corrupt political interests seeking power, control and access to billions. For the first time, I am willing to acknowledge that there is hope.


Posted by Morris Brown, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 4, 2009 at 9:35 pm

The sub-committee meeting chaired by Senator Simitian on April 30th can be heard at:

Web Link

(The discussion on High Speed Rail starts at 1 hour and 40 minutes into that link)

For those who have really been following this project, it is truly amazing to hear Medhi Morshed, the executive director of the Authority, tell the committee that public comments made by members of the Authority's board do not necessarily represent a position of the Authority. Morshed is saying don't believe anything Kopp or Diridon tell you? WOW!!!


REALLY!!!! Well that comment didn't go over well with Senator Simitian who told Morshed to take back to the board, they should not make public comments which may only be personal beliefs, without making sure the public understands they are only personal comments. Simitian also said he would personally write the Authority's board on this issue.

Morshed also stated, the Authority shouldn't be held responsible for the campaign that resulted in passage of Prop 1A. Who else can be held responsible?

It is a good listen. Good comments from many members of the Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton communities and even San Jose.

Vice-mayor Morton and Mayor Heyward Robinson really had excellent lead off remarks.


morris brown


Posted by Martin Engel, a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on May 6, 2009 at 10:58 am

This same article received 22 comments in the Palo Alto Online TownSquare. Why? Because more Palo Altonians give a damn about this project and the devastation it will bring to their and our respective cities.
In Menlo Park, you can count those actively concerned about this on both hands.

There are two, maybe three on the City Council who are paying attention and have a sense of the impact this project will generate. The Administration is, by and large, indifferent and may actually be supportive of whatever construction the rail authority intends for us. It will mean expanded staff and budget for them.

What if Paul Revere had made his famous ride and the citizenry told him to shut up? Who will all the Menlo Parkers blame when many streets get closed, the construction equipment ties up our traffic permanently for five years, when property values sink due to disclosure of a high rail barrier and four tracks, when the entire quality of life and the character of Menlo Park changes, for the worse, forever?

Fellow residents of Menlo Park, you are like Cleopatra, Queen of Denial.


Posted by cynic, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 11:44 am

And you, Martin, are our Cassandra. MP is culturally very different from PA. People here don't care. I truly think that only about a dozen people ever post on this board, most of us under a variety of handles because we aren't as brave as you are.

A lot of residents, even those within screaming distance of the tracks, still don't know about HSR. Amazing, huh? But at some point in the future they may become aware of the disaster that you, Morris, and a few prescient others managed to avert. Don't expect them to thank you, though.


Posted by Frank, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on May 6, 2009 at 1:49 pm

"In Menlo Park, you can count those actively concerned about this on both hands."

Martin, you're mistaken. I've met lots of people who are concerned about this. And many of them, including myself, hope that HSR does happen.


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