Letters to the Editor

Monday, May 07 2012 11:04 PM

He'd back HSR on those terms

By The Bakersfield Californian

I attended a convention of the California Newspaper Publishers Association on Friday in San Jose, at which several newspaper owners from around the state commented to me about the insanity of the high-speed rail project. It seems that no matter how strongly the public has turned against this boondoggle, the High-Speed Rail Authority continues down this golden track toward fiscal suicide.

When I returned home that night, I picked up The Californian to find a story from The Fresno Bee touting HSR's newest proponent: a Madera real estate opportunist, Ed McIntyre, who says he will spring for $1 billion in improvements to land he owns if the authority will locate a maintenance yard on the land ("Rail board sets valley route -- and gets an unexpected boost," May 4). The story reports that McIntyre said, in his group's case, "they're certain they can secure financing and recoup their investment through a lease-buy deal with the authority." Ya think?

Let me see if I understand this: McIntyre becomes an overnight supporter of HSR if he can convince the authority to locate a needed part of the HSR infrastructure on his land and sign documents assuring his $1 billion investment will cash flow and repay itself. All underpinned, of course, by state revenue bonds.

With that kind of thinking, I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd like to sell to the HSR Authority on the same terms. Under those conditions I, too, would become an ecstatic proponent of HSR.

Gregg K. Knowles

Bakersfield

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