We have been asked by several locals " who are these young people coming around, knocking on our doors and promoting the High Speed Rail project?"
They are college students who have been recruited for paid summer jobs to promote this project. Their employer is the "California Public Interest Research Group" (CALPIRG).
CALPIRG claims to "take on powerful interests on behalf of Californians, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being."
Well in this case CALPIRG has been paid to hire these students with a goal that 100,000 California voters will be personally contacted before the Nov. 2008 election. Who is funding this effort? Why the very same powerful interests CALPIRG claims to oppose. The funding is coming from a consortium of construction firms, venture capitalists, construction unions etc.
What does this project mean for Menlo Park, Atherton and other cities along the peninsula?
It means four (4) tracks running through our cities, requiring a minimum of 100 feet of corridor on which CalTrain currently has only 60 -65 feet in many portions.
It means eminent domain proceedings to acquire additional space.
It means tracks raised on a 15 foot high berm and electrical catenaries another 20 feet above that.
It means cutting hundreds of trees along the tracks.
It means approval of a project that will cost by their own estimates $45 billion. With debt service costs and escalated construction costs sure to evolve, the final cost will be well above $100 billion.
So this is what these young faces are promoting.
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Stone Pine Lane