By The Bakersfield Californian
After being away for nearly a month, I'm catching up on The Californian's high-speed rail articles. The Aug. 30 editorial "Brown must take the lead on bullet train" intrigues me. Yes, Californians did approve Proposition 1A, but it was based on proponents' fudged, buried details.
HSR's obstacles are a lot more than failures of imagination, of expectation management (whatever that is) and of leadership, as The Californian states. Hopefully, Gov. Jerry Brown doesn't want his legacy to be that he "laid the tracks," because that is all this project will produce before it runs out of money.
Proponent's claiming HSR will improve valley air and stimulate economic development is a stretch. Any available money needs to be used to repair existing infrastructure. This will produce the construction jobs everyone wants. Locally, once Isabella Dam repair plans are finalized, I visualize a funding battle -- HSR used all the money.
When will The Californian realize either proposed route through Bakersfield will change our town forever and destroy irreplaceable farmland? Some of HSR's destruction includes up to eight churches, 240 homes, 160 Mill Creek housing units, 280 businesses, the $150 million city yard (vital to providing municipal services), and changes to Bakersfield High School, Mercy Hospital and Rabobank Arena. I don't want Brown pleading, cajoling and making demands on Congress and his friends in the White House to make this destruction possible. How much longer will The Californian be deluded by the HSR boondoggle?