Salute to Charlie Waters from Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability

There are many wonderful individuals our group has met during the past several years on our mission to hold the California High-Speed Rail Authority accountable for its actions.

One such person was Mr. Charlie Waters, who always put others first and fought for what he believed was right. We are forever grateful to this Marine and American hero, who advocated for veterans, immigrant farmers and issues impacting the San Joaquin Valley – including water and rail.

Many of us have seen, firsthand, the passion and knowledge with which Charlie spoke at meetings and events concerning rail. His travels in the world included travel via high-speed rail.

The Fresno City Council will issue a proclamation next week declaring “Charlie Waters Day” in Fresno. (See the item on the September 24 meeting agenda.)

Our sincerest condolences to his family and extended family at the Fresno Veterans Home.

Mr. Waters was one of the individuals who addressed the media and concerned citizens at a rally to bring awareness of the Fresno businesses impacted by the California High-Speed Rail project. The event was held at Klein's Truck Stop in Fresno on May 1, 2012.

Mr. Waters was one of the individuals who addressed the media and concerned citizens at a rally to bring awareness of the Fresno businesses impacted by the California High-Speed Rail project. The event was held at Klein’s Truck Stop in Fresno on May 1, 2012.

 

Questioning the Outlandish Idea That California High-Speed Rail Deserves Cap-and-Trade Funds

The California High-Speed Rail Authority is desperate for funds to perpetuate its vision of a $68 billion high-speed passenger train between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The United States Congress and private investors don’t want to give it any money. The San Diego Union-Tribune published an editoral on August 30 (High-Speed Rail Project: Dead Train Walking?) optimistic that the courts will soon bring the boondoggle to an end.

Only the most committed supporters of this project (such as Governor Jerry Brown) choose to ignore the Authority’s failure to comply with the requirements of Proposition 1A, the November 2008 ballot measure that authorized $9.95 billion in borrowing to advance design and construction of the high-speed rail system. But those committed supporters have political power.

The ongoing convenient solution to the funding shortage is the California legislature’s budget directive to send a few hundred million dollars each year from the proceeds of “Cap-and-Trade” auction revenue (referred to by some as “taxes”) to the High-Speed Rail Authority. That money allows Construction Package No. 1 (civil engineering work between Madera and Fresno) to sputter onward with dreams of a big cash infusion someday.

In the summer of 2015, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held workshops and requested written public comments about the development of guidelines for the distribution of Cap-and-Trade funds. Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) sent a letter telling CARB that it isn’t appropriate for the state to spend Cap-and-Trade funds on California High-Speed Rail:

ARB is faced with the challenge of making decisions on the expenditure of Cap-and-Trade revenues based on predictions of the future. Unless it establishes a procedure for a recipient of the funds to pay back the money if GHG emission reductions are not achieved, ARB has to ensure a reasonable degree of certainty that a recipient of funds will actually spend it on a project or program that mitigates global climate change. An example of a program or project with significant uncertainty about reducing net GHG emissions would be the California High-Speed Rail project…

See the CCHSRA letter at Public Comments from Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability: Funding Guidelines for Agencies that Administer California Climate Investments.

A few other parties have urged CARB to stop the charade. For example, Fresno environmental activist Cherylyn Smith wrote two letters to CARB explaining an obvious reason why the California High-Speed Rail Authority (HSRA) is not qualified to receive Cap-and-Trade (C&T) funds:

No state agency that attempts to escape CEQA [California Environmental Quality Act] regulations should ever benefit from Cap and Trade revenues. If HSRA continues down that path, logically the following exigency must be enforced: C&T, a state environmental program, would necessarily have to rescind all funding to the HSR project. Several attempts to soften CEQA regulations or to exempt the HSR project from CEQA have occurred since 2012. At this time, the ARB needs to hold back funding to a project of this magnitude, in favor of remaining in alignment with CEQA regulations, rather than being complicit with HSRA’s efforts to avoid them.

See the Cherylyn Smith letter at Public Comments #1 from Cherylyn Smith: Funding Guidelines for Agencies that Administer California Climate Investments and Public Comments #2 from Cherylyn Smith: Funding Guidelines for Agencies that Administer California Climate Investments.

See all of the public comments to the California Air Resources Board about Cap-and-Trade Guidelines at these websites:

Comment Log for Auction Proceeds Funding Guidelines (ggrf-guidelines-ws)

Comment Log for Auction Proceeds Investment Plan Public Process (investplan2015-ws)

Radio Interview with Attorney Protecting Rights of the People from California High-Speed Rail Authority

Californians across the political spectrum want to see public accountability for California High-Speed Rail. Go to a California High-Speed Rail Authority board meeting, and you’ll see people from all walks of life with a wide variety of concerns about this $68 billion project.

Today (Wednesday, August 12, 2015) at 3:00 p.m., attorney Mike Brady will be interviewed on the “Stir It Up” radio show hosted by Richard Gomez on KFCF Free Speech Radio, 88.1 FM in Fresno, California. Mr. Brady represents people in Kings County objecting to the conduct of the California High-Speed Rail Authority as it pushes forward with its vision of a bullet train through the farmland of the Central Valley.

Also scheduled to be interviewed is Cherylyn Smith, a Fresno teacher and environmental activist.

You can also listen to the show at KFCF 88.1FM – Free Speech Radio. The audio will also be available for two weeks following the show.

Air Resources Board Needs to Make California High-Speed Rail Authority Publicly Accountable for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Claims

Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is urging the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop funding guidelines for Cap-and-Trade auction proceeds that force the California High-Speed Rail Authority to explain its plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. ARB is in a public comment period in the development of final guidelines for this massive spending program.

“The High-Speed Rail Authority has made many unsubstantiated claims about reducing greenhouse gas emissions so it could get $650 million or more in Cap-and-Trade funds,” said Aaron Fukuda, chairman of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA). “Based on what we’ve seen from the Authority, we don’t believe them.”

CCHSRA has now submitted eleven recommendations to the Air Resources Board for guidelines that will allow the public to get specifics about how the bullet train will reduce emissions that cause global climate change.

Fukuda believes the High-Speed Rail Authority is making up promises about greenhouse gas reductions to get desperately needed money. “The Cap-and-Trade program is a convenient source of money for a project that has strayed badly from what was presented to voters as Proposition 1A in 2008,” he says.

“If the project stops after the completion of the last planned construction contract, leaving a rail line without electrification between Madera and Shafter, would $650 million spent from Cap-and-Trade money be justified?” Fukuda asks. “Of course not.”

Here is a link to the letter submitted by Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) to the California Air Resources Board:

July 7, 2015 Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) Comment Letter to Air Resources Board on Cap-and-Trade

Future Segment of California High-Speed Rail Not Exempt from California Environmental Law

Today (July 2, 2015) the federal Surface Transportation Board rejected a request from the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board meant to exempt the proposed Caltrain Electrification project from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The Caltrain governing board wanted the Surface Transportation Board to declare that the proposed Caltrain Electrification project is a matter of interstate commerce and therefore covered under federal and NOT state environmental review.

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has a vision that one day its high-speed trains will share track with Caltrain between San Francisco and San Jose. This is the northern “bookend” in the current California High-Speed Rail Authority Business Plan.

Electrification of Caltrain is a step toward achieving that vision. It is even receiving funding from Proposition 1A.

On May 19, 2015, the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board petitioned the Surface Transportation Board to do what the California High-Speed Rail Authority has successfully done twice: get an exemption from the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) so that it doesn’t have to deal with litigation challenging the adequacy of the approved Final Environmental Impact Report.

The Surface Transportation Board didn’t buy the argument that Caltrain commuters were engaging in interstate commerce.

In February 2015, the Town of Atherton, the Community Coalition on High-Speed Rail (CC-HSR)  and the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund (TRANSDEF), known as the “Atherton Parties,” filed a lawsuit contending the environmental review under CEQA for Caltrain electrification was insufficient. This lawsuit will continue now that the Surface Transportation Board has denied the Caltrain petition.

Joining the Atherton Parties to argue against CEQA exemption was the Alliance for a Cleaner Tomorrow (ACT), which alleged that agencies such as the California High-Speed Rail Authority and Caltrain seek special CEQA exemptions after those agencies commit to a Project Labor Agreement with trade unions for construction.

Here is a link to today’s decision from the Surface Transportation Board:

U.S. House of Representatives Unanimously Passes Amendment Proposed by Congressman Jeff Denham to Nullify California High-Speed Rail Grant Agreement

Congressman Jeff Denham's District

Congressman Jeff Denham’s District

Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) received a press release this morning (June 10, 2015) from the office of U.S. Representative Jeff Denham, who represents many residents of the Central Valley concerned about the financial waste, ill-conceived route alignment, and relentless property takings of California High-Speed Rail.

You may thank Congressman Denham via email by going to this website:

https://denham.house.gov/contact-me/email-me

Be especially sure to contact Congressman Denham if you live in his district. See the district map.


In a vote Tuesday evening (June 10, 2015), the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed Congressman Jeff Denham’s amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015-2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill nullifying the current grant agreement between the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

“This amendment will finally hold California High-Speed Rail accountable for its finances,” said Rep. Denham. “The project is several decades behind schedule, nearly $70 billion over budget, and will not meet the speeds, travel times, or ridership levels promised to voters. No longer will they be able to accept a hamburger today for payment on Tuesday.”

Specifically, the amendment prohibits any appropriated federal funds from being used for high-speed rail in the state of California or for administering a grant agreement that includes a “tapered” match (described below).

When the Federal Railroad Administration initially awarded the Authority with nearly $3 billion in federal grant dollars under the federal stimulus package, it entered into a standard grant agreement with the Authority requiring a dollar-for-dollar match. This agreement stipulated that for every federal tax dollar spent, the Authority must spend a dollar from a non-federal source. California never came up with the money and subsequently missed payment deadline after payment deadline.

In order to avoid violating the Federal Deficiency Act, the Federal Railroad Administration quietly amended its grant agreement in December 2012 to allow for a tapered match – allowing federal dollars to be spent in advance of any matching dollars – despite having no assurances from the California High-Speed Rail Authority that the matching dollars would ever exist. The FRA’s Inspector General has subsequently criticized FRA for jeopardizing federal taxpayer dollars with this scheme. This amendment guarantees that the FRA must enter into an agreement that requires the Authority to match, dollar-for-dollar, federal tax dollars in current fiscal years.

See Text of Denham Amendment to Nullify the California High-Speed Rail Grant Agreement

Congressman Denham has repeatedly introduced legislation to stop the California High-Speed Rail Authority from continuing to waste billions in taxpayer dollars. In June 2012 and June 2014, he offered an amendment suspending federal funding for California High-Speed Rail. It passed each year. He also successfully added an amendment to the American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7) in February 2012 ensuring that money in highway bills could not be spent on California High-Speed Rail. In January 2014, Rep. Denham introduced the Responsible Rail and Deterring Deficiency Act, which would suspend all federal funding to California High-Speed Rail.

###

“Dam Train” Billboard Campaign on Highway 99 Highlights California High-Speed Rail Project as Mistaken Priority; Sparks New Debate

Those traveling north or south along Highway 99 in Fresno County will see two billboards (with more to come) questioning the current priority of California’s government to build a $68 billion high-speed rail system from San Francisco to Los Angeles while San Joaquin Valley agriculture staggers from the effects of a multi-year drought.

Put up in May 2015, the billboards suggest that a “Dam” for water storage might be a more important priority for the state at this time than the government’s current priority of a “Train.”

The campaign is called “DamTrain” and describes itself as “a project by Fresno City Councilman Steve Brandau and the Taxpayers Association of Central California.” The project’s message: “Our water is more valuable than that train, and DamTrain exists to get this message to our leaders.”

Website for DamTrain is http://www.damtrain.com

The website for DamTrain is http://www.damtrain.com

Many ordinary Californians who added their names to the DamTrain website in support of water infrastructure versus transportation infrastructure have added their views to the debate of what our state government should prioritize. No word yet if Governor Jerry Brown has read these comments, but if he ever stumbles across the “DamTrain” website, he’ll see these:

Comments on the DamTrain.com Website

▪   We need water, we already have transportation.
   Get your priorities straight!! Spend our tax dollars on a dam, not a damn train!!!
   Who will benefit from increased water storage? All Californians. Who will benefit from the unnecessary bullet train? A small fraction of our population. Governor Brown – you do the math.
   Thank you for investing your time and funds into this very important topic for ALL of California.
   We can build a train any time. We need water NOW! Please build a dam.
   I really hope this helps change some minds.  #ILoveToEat  #WeNeedWater
   Yo hell w train we need water.
   We can live without a train. WE CAN”T LIVE WITHOUT WATER.
   We don’t need a Choo-Choo!! We need water storage / new dams!!
   Conservation is band-aid on a gunshot wound. It has only resulted in a power grab by the State Water Board and others in Sacramento. We blame our neighbors when we should be blaming Sacramento politicians. Increased storage is the only way Califonia will survive and prosper.
   Governor Brown’s priorities are in the wrong place. We do not need high speed rail!! Our valley needs water storage solutions.
   Water is a necessity of life and we are running out of it and patience. High speed rail has been a useless money pit since it began. Very simply water is more important and at this rate probably anything will be cheaper for the taxpayers than high speed rail.
   We need leaders that can look out for the people. Let’s get this done NOW!!!
   Humans need water to drink, to bathe. Farmers can’t grow foodstuffs without water. A “train to nowhere” over the protests of California’s citizenry is unacceptable. We need water to live! We don’t need or want a massive pork project at the expense of our very lives and livelihoods.
   WASTE OF MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WILL NOT BE USED…WILL TAKE SO LONG TO BUILD THE MONEY SPENT WILL KILL CALIFORNIA…WHICH IS ALREADY THE WORST STATE. THIS IS WHY MORE & MORE PEOPLE WANT TO MOVE OUT OF CALIFORNIA.
   IT WILL TOTALLY RUIN OUR FARM LAND AND ONE WILL USE IT…ANOTHER PLAN MADE BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE. MONEY DOWN THE TUBES…
   If we can build pipelines to move oil, why not WATER and not a faster train which will kill how many when it derails.
   This has been a problem since the 70s as far as I can remember. Get your priorities straight before you completely kill this state.
   We need water not another government subsidized toy!
   I live in a farm community and own a farm. We need water more than we need high speed rail. Putting our tax dollars into getting water to the farming communities would be money well spent.
   WATER for HUMANS first…NO to the high speed sludge fund. If a high speed train is needed, it should be PRIVATELY funded. THIS is NOT a good use or correct use of TAXPAYER money.
   The water crisis should be the priority! We NEED water, we don’t need this train. Please help!!
   We can live without a train to nowhere. We cannot live without water.
   Stuff your ^@#$ for your Union bedmates with your train…go buy one on ebay or amazon, and GIVE US BACK OUR, REPEAT OUR, WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   We need water more than we need the high speed rail!
   Water is much more of a priority over that of a speed train to nowhere. Time to listen to the people of California Gov. Brown and stop brown nosing the big business lobbyists. Water is necessary for life and food.
   The train is a waste of money California doesn’t have. It also steals property from families! California needs water not a damn train!
   We all need water, not a High Speed Rail to support and subsidize like Amtrak. People first.
   The majority of people living in Calif. WILL NOT use the train. BUT all people need the water and the money being wasted on this train can be more than enough to help with building dams and etc. needed for storage of water. What is the matter with our elected officials that they can’t use their god given common sense?
   Save California and the crops it produces for the country!!
   Reroute funding for the unnecessary bullet train and put it where it’ll actually matter.
   This nightmare train to nowhere is officially the biggest debacle I ever seen. Gov. Brown is pushing an unnecessary legacy that no one wants. You lied about its destinations, its speed, its price and have said nothing about its subsidies. It will never be profitable.
   That we have not started to build more dams amazes me. That we are emptying dams amazes me even more.
   No one will ride it. It will only be a useless burden on the taxpayer. There are over 14,000 Desalination Plants in the world. We need at least 3 dozen in California and we need to stop letting precious rain water run out to sea every year.
   It is time to focus on the paramount issues in California – the “bullet train” is not one of those. This is simply a liberal boondoggle to unions and waste of taxpayers’ money. Focus on the issues that really affect our ability to provide growth and sutainable jobs – water. Without adequate water for our population there will be no growth – period.
   We can’t wait for the water board to start thinking about this in 2017 – the crisis is NOW!
   What happened to saving land and people and doing the RIGHT THING Governor Brown? We don’t need the train, WE NEED WATER!
   If we want food on our table, water is what will do that, not that train.
   Thank you Steve Brandau for stepping up for Californians to do the right thing…stop the train by putting water ahead of Mr. Jerry Brown’s personal agenda!
   This train is a boondoggle and needs to be cancelled. Build water storage instead!!!  DUH!!
   Please put the money toward water distribution solutions to the California citizens!
   Need water, not damn train, waste of money.
   A train that will cost money over a source we really need in the valley…Shaking my head at you Brown! We need WATER!!!
   California is broke and we need water storage. NO TRAIN before water…
   Water projects help all Californians, HSR will not solve any problems and will only benefit a small part of our population and require permanent subsidy. Please fix our water problems first.
   LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE STOP THE DAMN TRAIN.
   Water storage should be your number one priority. Water rationing now will not solve this problem. Failure to build adequate water storage immediately sentences the citizens of this state to increasing misery and destruction of our incredible agriculture system.
   We are the bread basket of this nation. Farming is a vital part of our state. It’s time to realize this train benefits no one except Los Angeles and San Francisco. When are we going to stop hand holding these cities? They get our water, they contribute the majority of our pollution, their liberal ideas govern the rest of us and now we want to waste billions to make sure they aren’t inconvenienced travelling. Wake up California, it’s time to take our state back and stop driving everyone out. make California the place you want to live not the place you can’t wait to leave.
   Cannot build the train with money they have! But would go a long way to helping the water situation for all, not the few train riders.
   Stop the train. Solve the water issue.
   We need Dams and Reservoirs, not a High Speed Rail System!
   Total waste of money when the real critical need is in water storage for the state. Would like to have seen the money that has already been spent on the train on repairing our water ways and building new dams for water storage.
   We don’t need a high speed rail, water is and the ability to store it is the single most important item we should be dealing with.
   Do your job, use common sense, without water we will not have a State for that crazy train to travel.
   Quit lining your pockets from special interests and do what is right for California and the American people.
   It’s time for common sense to return to California government. It can be your legacy, not the bullet train.
   What good is a train if everyone moves away from lack of water?
   Stop that train…I can’t believe it has gotten as far as it has. What are Californians thinking?!?!?
   Simple…We can live without the train…We cannot live without Water…
   Dams aren’t sexy like bullet trains. A dam makes it hard to politically reward your supporters, supporters that are concentrated in voter block metropolises and believe their green lawns are a miracle of the faucet.
   More Water…if the Train is economically feasible let it be built with private capital…please give more consideration and leadership to the need for more water in California…and thanks for your public service to our Great State.
   We need to build Dams not bullet trains.
   We need water not a train that nobody will use.
   Water is our livelihood in California. Without it people and business will move!
   I don’t have much faith that Brown will actually listen because he’s proven already he doesn’t really care what the people of California want but it would be nice to have some accountability for his lack of leadership or ability / desire to save this state before it dries up, goes Bankrupt and blows away.
   This water issue may wake up California sleeping majority! God bless you Steve Brandau, God save California!!!
   Governor, stop the train! In case you’ve forgotten you work for the people and we are tired of you serving your special interest cronies and disregarding the rest of us! We don’t want your train, it’s a waste of my money!
   Cancel the train and get the Dam built.
   It’s not about water, it’s about power and money.
   The state needs more water infrastructure rather than a train to no where, that no one will ride!!! Spend our tax dollars on infrastructure that will insure our future, not destroy it!!! The money spent on the San Joaquin River restoration is a joke!!! Take that money and help build Temperance Flat Dam, that will help all of the San Joaquin Valley economy!!!!
   We are in desperate need of water and yet you continue to waste money on a train that no one but you wants. The enormous fortune you are spending on this train could do so much for not only our valley but for all of the people in California. Without water where is our food, our jobs going to come from? How many people will move out of California because of its lack of water for farms, orchards, groves? Farmers are tearing out tree after tree and getting rid of cow after cow, people’s wells are going dry because of the water situtation, how long do you think we can go on?
   It’s time the people of California realize the only benefit of the “bullet train” is to line the pockets of politicians and other favored groups. Elected officials are supposed to lead and it’s a damn shame none of them have realized the need for infrastructure of our water system in this desert area with no water projects since 1970.
   ^@#$ the train we can’t ride it if we have to spend all our money for foreign veggies…we can’t ride if we die of thirst.
   Our water well went dry last July / we have to drill but we don’t know if there’s any water to drill for us…
   We do not “need” a high speed rail system anywhere in California. We do need long term solutions to the current and future drought(s).
   Desalination is the answer! Leave the crazy train to Ozzy!
   Dear Governor Brown, Please stop wasting money on wants, and start spending money on needs.
   California’s High Speed Rail was presented to the voters of California in 2008 as a train that was to run down the I-5 or Highway 99 corridor. I for one voted for this alignment on voting day but now we are told it is to veer off of the alignment into farmland and housing in the Madera area which will impact my home now. This means that I have voted to have my house demolished for an overpass for this train. This is not what my vote was intended for, much like a lot of others in the Valley. Issues like these are items that need to be addressed. I personally would like my vote back along with the happiness that was in my heart before hearing of my home’s demise. Please do not allow the train to nowhere.
   We don’t need to spent money on a train that go nowhere, while we are in need of dam to store water so we can live.
   We need the train like we need another year of drought…
   No train is also a water issue. If the train brings more here then we will need much more storage great job Steve Brandau.
   We need the water! Not the train that will just be a money pit! California leadership is failing the valley and Californians!
   We need water not a train!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
   Good governance requires sufficient flexibility to take action and to protect society in times of crisis.
   Build DAMS not trains to nowhere.
   WATER SHOULD BE THE PRIORITY!  WTF ARE YOU THINKING?
   I also hope that as you move forward to repair our levy system and repair and/or build new dams, please abandon your plans for the high speed rail. If you want people to remember you in a positive way, help us – don’t hurt us with a train that nobody wants – except for you. If you think we need a rail system, get BART to expand!! They do a great job with their service in the Bay Area.
   We don’t need a freaking train…People don’t use the train we have!!! This state needs WATER, look how the population of CA has grown and I can’t think ANY NEW major water storage/ lakes/ dams that have been built…it takes WATER for PEOPLE to LIVE…NOT A TRAIN!!!
   We have a train that is losing money. Why do we need another train to lose more money? Only a politician could see this as wise use of taxpayers money. Most California citizens say NO!
   WE NEED WATER TO LIVE, WE CAN LIVE WITHOUT HIGH SPEED RAIL.
   Stop the train. We don’t need it, we need water!
   People can’t live long without food or water. It has been nearly 40 years since a dam was built in this state. Meanwhile our population continues to grow, as do the markets for our produce. We need more water storage, not high speed trains that will be a drain on the State budget in perpetuity.
   We need water more then we need a train…
   Stop the train to nowhere! Create real jobs that last…give us water storage!
   It amazes me the lack of common sense we have in the state capital, also doing the right thing for the people, and not for lining the pockets of state and government officials with the rail project, should be your priority.
   Everyone needs water. Not everyone will ride the train.
   Stop the crazy train and build more water storage and desalination plants! Fast track more water for California.
   Water is a current and dire future problem. As much as I wish we had convenient, affordable rail travel, I would rather see the more serious issue of our ongoing water problem dealt with.
   We need water storage, not a worthless train! With no water there is no one to ride the train anyways!
   We already have Amtrak, that’s good enough for me. What we so DESPERATELY NEED is water. Won’t you please help us?
   The entire valley will benefit from water. It will help keep the farmers in business! It’s not like the farmers are going to get hired to build the high speed rail. How can the high speed rail be more beneficial when it’s NOT a necessity!!!! It’s a luxury. WE NEED WATER NOT A TRAIN!
   I would rather eat than ride a train…Build the DAM.
   Water is more important than a train.
   Right now water is the biggest concern for most Californians, not public transportation.
   NO train…water please.
   We don’t need the train, we need water!!
   We need damns that will benefit the entire population of CA not a DAM train that will only benefit 1% of CA population!!!! DAMS not DAMN trains!!
   Everyone I know is moving out of California and I’m not far behind with the way things are going.
   This is such a no-brainer that we shouldn’t even need a petition. Just a Governor with a sense of what’s best for the PEOPLE that he is supposed to represent, not his own personal agenda.
   The very urgent need of water here in the Central California region should be a first priority for the Governor. I am not saying don’t build the “High Speed Rail,” what I am saying is that “Our Water Needs” should be priority number one. Halt the “High Speed Rail Project” and concentrate on the more important issue…
   Knowing what we know now about the so-called “high speed rail,” it would have never have been approved by the taxpayers. We need to place OUR money where we desperately need it. Build water storage now and innovate water solutions.
   Way, way too expensive to be built now!! California has many other issues to be dealt with…especially water. Good grief what kind of person doesn’t see the need for water in this State!
   LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE & STOP SADDLING THE TAXPAYERS WITH THIS RIDICULOUS TRAIN THAT HASN’T MET 1 SINGLE BOND MEASURE REQUIREMENT & IS 5 TIMES MORE EXPENSIVE THAN PROPOSED. WE NEED WATER TO MAKE OUR STATE PROSPEROUS & TO SUPPLY THE WORLD WITH FOOD.
   This state is in desperate need of water, without it there isn’t a state period.
   Societies rise and fall by the way they manage their water supplies. California’s economic juggernaut exists because our forefathers built the best infrastructure in the world! Let’s get this dam built!
   Dam that Train! Leave our farms, families, communities and jobs, invest in water storage and build our economy, not a train to nowhere!
   Governor Brown, Make your legacy that you solved the water crisis in California, created jobs, kept the Central Valley green and productive, fed the rest of the Country and the world and put all this ahead of a train that will cost the California taxpayer billions maybe trillions for decades.
   Building the dam should be number 1 priority, the train can wait. Without water pretty soon there will be no California. We need water to survive and for the farmers to continue with their jobs. Water is needed for many things. It’s not something you can just keep pushing back on hold.
▪   
We won’t need a train when we have no water…there will be nobody to ride it. Total waste of taxpayers’ money. Build a Dam and save California…it’s farmers and people.

Help Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability in Its Fight for Accountability to the People of California

Who:  Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA)

What: Fundraiser.

Where: Hanford Fraternal Hall PAVILION • 1015 North 10th Avenue • Hanford, CA 932230

When: Friday, April 17, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Why: Members have been working tirelessly to help defend everyone in the path of the California High-Speed Rail through the legal process since 2011. We would like you to support our continued efforts through this fundraiser and thank you in advance.

How: CCHSRA are hosting a “Linguica and Bean Take-Out Dinner” on Friday, April 17, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Linguica, Portuguese Beans, salad, roll and dessert will be served. Tickets are $25.00.

Please make checks payable to: CCHSRA. Thank you in advance for your support.

You may purchase tickets from members of CCHSRA. There will also be a limited number of tickets at the door.

Or, tickets are available at the Kings County Farm Bureau:
870 Greenfield Ave, #B
Hanford, CA 93230
(559) 584-3557

For more information, please contact Mary Jane Fagundes at (559) 707-7286.

Legacy Issues: The Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability 2014 Business Plan for California High-Speed Rail

People interested in California High-Speed Rail issues frequently ask our organization – Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) – for an accurate report about the status of California High-Speed Rail. In April 2014, CCHSRA produced its own 110-page version of a business plan that tries to fulfill the requirements outlined in state law for a business plan of the California High-Speed Rail Authority.

Central Valley Citizens’ Group Says Voter Dissatisfaction with California High-Speed Rail Was Reflected in Noteworthy Election Results

Central Valley Citizens’ Group Says Voter Dissatisfaction with California High-Speed Rail Was Reflected in Noteworthy Election Results

Leadership of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) asserts that the clear, unequivocal positions of several candidates against the current California High-Speed Rail plan were an asset in motivating San Joaquin Valley voters to go to the polls on Election Day.

“Some political commentators in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. said they were surprised by the election performance of several candidates in the San Joaquin Valley,” says Frank Oliveira, a co-chairman of Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA). “They fail to recognize that water, agriculture, and high-speed rail continue to be prominent concerns in our communities.”

Oliveira cites the strong election performance of Congressman David Valadao, Congressman Jeff Denham, State Senator Andy Vidak, and the unexpected preliminary lead of 736 votes of Johnny Tacherra (challenger to Congressman Jim Costa). All of these candidates spoke openly to a broad spectrum of local residents about the drawbacks and challenges of water, agriculture, and high-speed rail.

“It has surprised everyone that Johnny Tacherra could actually end up unseating the ‘Father of High-Speed Rail’ in the Central Valley,” says Oliveira. “But Tacherra made his campaign distinct in part by opposing the current path of California High-Speed Rail through prime farmland and neighborhoods full of small businesses and churches.”

Oliveria sums up what is happening in the San Joaquin Valley: “Residents from all perspectives and walks of life are frustrated about the apparent disdain that some politicians show toward our communities. Some Californians embrace a futuristic vision of a bullet train cutting across our abandoned farmland. We want our elected officials to represent our desire to maintain the importance of agriculture in our region.”

Citizens for California High Speed Rail Accountability (CCHSRA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group based in Kings County. Members include residents of the City of Hanford and surrounding rural areas, along with other Californians affected by the high-speed rail. The group has been in the forefront since June 2011 of attempting to get the California High-Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA) and its board to be in full compliance with Proposition 1A, which the state’s voters passed in November 2008.

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