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California High-Speed Rail Allowed To Seize Parcels If Needed

Credit: California High-Speed Rail Authority Flickr

An artist's rendering of the high-speed rail.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A state board says the agency overseeing California's high-speed rail project can acquire four parcels in Fresno County through eminent domain if necessary.

The State Public Works Board approved the request from the California High-Speed Rail Authority on Friday. That allows it to seize the land if officials cannot reach deals with the property owners.

The authority so far has approval to seize 14 properties if needed.

The board also agreed with the authority in identifying 144 parcels that are in the path of the Fresno-to-Bakersfield route. That allows the authority to begin environmental testing but not to make any purchase offers.

Rail authority spokeswoman Lisa Marie Alley says the agency has made offers to 202 property owners before starting construction of the first 30-mile section, from Madera to Fresno.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | April 12, 2014 at 12:59 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Another step on the road to the Land of Oz - this state boondoggle just continues to amaze all and ignore reality at every step. Someone please look behind the curtain and stop this disaster.

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Avatar for user 'thompsonrichard'

thompsonrichard | April 12, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

How did Japan, flattened during World War II by multiple saturation bombings, and two nuclear bombings, come up with the wherewithal to build The Tōkaidō Shinkansen in time for the '64 Tokyo Olympics?

Shinkansen service was an immediate success, increasing new traffic demand. It reached the 100 million passenger mark in less than three years, and one billion passengers nine years later. Sixteen-car trains were introduced for Expo '70 in Osaka.

Since its inception, the bullet train has carried over 7 billion passengers without a single fatal accident.

Thirteen trains per hour with sixteen cars each (1,323 seats capacity) run in each direction with a minimum headway of three minutes between trains between the two largest cities in Japan, Tokyo and Osaka. I usually stay at the hostel in Shin-Osaka after the three hours and 20 minutes ride. Since it takes less than 20 minutes to get from my hostel in Iidabashi to Tokyo Central Station, I can breakfast in Tokyo and lunch in Shin-Osaka.

Gov. Jerry Brown said: "President Abraham Lincoln came up with the money to build the transcontinental railroad during the Civil War, and we built the Golden Gate Bridge during the Great Depression." Brown said that he anticipates there will have a broad need for the system in the long term and that it represents a significantly cheaper alternative to additional highway and commercial aviation investments.

Gov. Jerry Brown's massive twin projects -- the Sacramento River Delta subterranean pipes and high speed rail can reverse the Great Recession in California. These are particularly important issues for the Central Valley. About 15 percent of the water delivered to Central Valley homes and farmlands comes from the California Delta.

Stockton in the Central California Valley is located one hour by Amtrak train from the State Capitol. In and around Stockton are hundreds of miles of waterways and rivers. In July 2012, Stockton became the then-largest city to file for protection under Chapter 9 of the US Bankruptcy code. Also in 2012, the city was ranked the second most dangerous in California -- just behind Oakland. In February 2012, the city was ranked one of the most miserable cities in the U.S. In 2013, Stockton was ranked as the third least literate city in the U.S.

A water bond will appear on the November, 2014 state ballot. State and federal water agencies, in order to restore the San Francisco Bay and delta ecosystems, need to build a twin-pipe project to move water 35 miles under the delta. The plan seeks to move the diversion point north to the Sacramento River and away from the south delta where pumps powerful enough to reverse the river flows are killing 95 percent of the juvenile Chinook salmon. The least important issues are domain issues -- whether in Stockton or the other towns in the Central Valley.

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Avatar for user 'magnumforc'

magnumforc | April 12, 2014 at 9:12 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

I can't wait to see the look on Jerry Brown's face when the feds pull the rug out on this High Speed Rail to nowhere project. The last government shutdown, the word was that they were not going forward with funding for this debacle. If that happens, who will be left holding the bag? Yup, the taxpayers with another useless project dragged out for years, in a place that nobody really wants to be or go to, and will be ancient technology before the first wheel turns.

It it small wonder that California is the laughing stock of the nation?

Oh, wait, we don't have the environmental activists weighing in on the Delta Smelt yet. That should cause yet another great stir in the pot and help delay any useful water project a few hundred million dollars or more. They have already turned the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley into the Dust Bowl of the west with so many farmers and workers out of employment. Nothing will change that in the near future.

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Avatar for user 'RLA'

RLA | April 12, 2014 at 10:53 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

Japan's rail system including the Shinkansen are truly wonderful. That had a national will to rebuild and a lack of lawyers and politicians to complicate every step of the process.

California is paralyzed by political correctness and environmental lawyers profiting at every little step of the process. All of the state's major cities, who actually need high speed rail, will ever allow the disruption caused by the construction and operation of new transportation methods. NIMBYs, environmentalists, lawyers, a totally dysfunctional government beauracracy - a perfect storm to prevent the kinds of progress needed for California to recover it's former glory. Sad but true.

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Avatar for user 'ChuoShinkansen'

ChuoShinkansen | April 14, 2014 at 9:29 p.m. ― 2 years, 11 months ago

thompsonrichard is right. How can a country like Japan, who got demolished into ashes during World War 2, build the Shinkansen 19 years after they surrendered? While Californians are acting like a bunch of crybabies making all sorts of excuses why this is a train to nowhere? No wonder America became a joke. They still rely on the 20th transportation system, while other countries like China, Taiwan, Korea, France, England, Spain and Japan jumped ahead of America.

While in California, Proposition 1A has been approved 6 years ago, and not a single construction work have begun??

Japan has already started their Maglev Project (Chuo Shinkansen) and it will be completed around 2025, but now they will be hosting the 2020 Olympics, they will try to finish the Tokyo-Nagoya line before the upcoming Olympic games. They were able to achieve it 50 years ago, when the Shinkansen was completed in 1964.

People are complaining why the Olympics will never be held in California? California is looking like Japan in the 1950's and nothing is going to stop California's population from growing out of control. While corrupt politicans are too busy having their head up their @$$, finding any excuses not to build this high speed rail.

When the Shinkansen was built, Shinji Sogo gambled on his employment just to get this system going. He went as far as lying on the estimation of this project. Making the politicians believe that he is upgrading on the aging Tokaido Line project. When the Shinkansen was completed, he was forced to resign.

Right now, Californians are nothing but a bunch of crybabies. They find any excuses to rip on Governor Brown or the Obama Administration. They don't realize the real problem. It's the selfishness of the people.

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