News

Judge tentatively decides not to reopen high-speed-rail lawsuit filed by Atherton, MP

 

After a judge tentatively decided Aug. 19 to not reopen a lawsuit filed against the high-speed rail authority by Menlo Park, Atherton, and other groups, the project's opponents considered their next step. The court will issue a final ruling this week.

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny ruled the plaintiffs had not proven the rail authority deliberately misled the public about ridership figures. His decision also stated the plaintiffs had shown no evidence that the rail authority would ignore their concerns about the figures.

The plaintiffs said they'd discovered flaws in the models used to calculate projected ridership, and that those models had been "significantly changed after the peer review process had ended," according to court documents. The judge didn't disagree, but stated the data was available to the public.

"If the judge is under the belief that available data means residents first have to request the study via the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and understand the various versions of the studies and understand when the decisions were made in relation to said data, then I guess I can see his point," said Rich Cline, mayor of Menlo Park and chair of the Peninsula Cities Consortium, a group of five council representatives from Atherton, Menlo Park, Burlingame, Palo Alto, and Belmont that oppose the project.

"At some point someone in the legal system needs to think about the rest of us and how these predetermined decisions were made outside of the public light," Mr. Cline said, referring to the plaintiffs' claim that the rail authority modified its ridership model without telling the public .

He said the rail authority's behavior shows that only insiders, not residents, have access to information about the project.

The lawsuit, initially filed two years ago, challenged the project's environmental impact report. A judge ruled in August 2009 that the rail authority did need to revise the portions evaluating land use, right-of-way impacts, and vibration effects. The California High-Speed Rail Authority revised the report to address those areas and released a new, final version on Aug. 20.

The chief executive officer of the rail authority, Roelof van Ark, said in a press release that he was happy with the tentative ruling, and that the agency is "committed to transparency."

The rail authority and Caltrans recently applied for another $1.58 billion in federal funding to help build the system; the project was already awarded $2.25 billion in federal funds in January.

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Outrageous
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2010 at 12:33 pm

The judge is wrong. Time to appeal.


Like this comment
Posted by GiveitUp
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm

The ALMANAC evidently forgot what it posted last week.
There was nothing TENTATIVE about the judge's decision.


Like this comment
Posted by morris brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2010 at 2:25 pm

The Almanac was correct in it posting as the first sentence in the ruling stated clearly Tentative Ruling.

The ruling is now (Aug. 23rd) no longer tentative. It was only very slightly modified as shown on the court website, with a couple of sentences change being noted at the end of the ruling.


Like this comment
Posted by GiveitUp
a resident of another community
on Aug 23, 2010 at 3:36 pm

So MORRIS BROWN really believes that the judge is going to reverse his
decision on August 23rd?
If he does, then we can count on another costly appeal and just another waste of time and money.
Just pay the 60 BILLION, then get the rest of America on track.
Jeesh.


Like this comment
Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm

Somehow, it appears that GiveitUp" doesn't understand the English language.

morris brown


Like this comment
Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Well in a newer article:

Web Link

apparently the judge has not issued his final order. So it is still tentative.

That certainly was not my understanding from reading was posted on the Court's website:

Web Link

enter case in year 2008 number 80000022

scroll to bottom of the page to see the listings.

morris brown




Like this comment
Posted by Morris Brown
a resident of Menlo Park: Park Forest
on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:54 pm

Well my reading of the posting on the Court's website was apparently correct after all. The SJ Mercury has just published an article confirming that the tentative ruling has been upheld and is final.

Web Link

morris brown



Like this comment
Posted by GiveitUp
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2010 at 7:47 am

Look up TENTATIVE in an O.E. dictionary, and then compare it to the language used in San Mateo County, then read what is assured to eventually happen in CA according to Sacramento's plans for the future....(if you know anyone in politics there)....water cooler to you.


Like this comment
Posted by GiveItUp
a resident of another community
on Aug 24, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Morris...
It helps to know how the law works afresh in the 21st C. Peninsula.
The only law abiding citizen with knowledge in P.Carpenter, and he follows it to the letter, as it was meant, once...........
That no longer works in this world.
Now, you will see what is about to be some quiet for a few days until someone gets all riled up over something like the birds singing too loudly in the evening.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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