Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief

Taxpayer Challenge to High-Speed Rail Files Devastating Brief 11/16/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The legal team challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s compliance with the 2008 Proposition 1A High-Speed Rail Bond Measure filed a supplemental brief today. It explains the legal significance of a secret document recently uncovered by the Los Angeles Times. The Authority had resisted releasing it. Pressure from the State Assembly Republican Caucus and several Republican congressmen eventually forced the Authority to make it public. After the Authority capitulated, the court allowed the plaintiffs to file a supplemental brief. Plaintiff Aaron Fukuda said “We hope this brief puts a stake in the heart of this boondoggle. The Authority’s goal line defense to keep…

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CHSRA Releases Blockbuster Document

CHSRA Releases Blockbuster Document 11/03/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail News broke late Tuesday that the HSR document reported on by the Los Angeles Times  has been released by CHSRA. Editorials in the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Union-Tribune called it out as a red flag for the HSR project. See the Taxpayer Lawsuit for further details on how this affects the challenge to CHSRA. Tags: HSR Litigation

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TRANSDEF Files STB Challenge

TRANSDEF Files STB Challenge 02/09/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In the second of two lawsuits filed today, TRANSDEF joined a coalition of non-profits and Central Valley county governments to challenge the decision of the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) preempting the application of CEQA to California’s HSR project. In what we consider to be a shocking use of state power, the California Attorney General has previously sought to eliminate the application of CEQA to the state’s HSR project. On October 9, 2014 the CHSRA petitioned the STB to block California courts from issuing injunctions that could stop construction of the…

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TRANSDEF Files Caltrain Electrification Lawsuit

TRANSDEF Files Caltrain Electrification Lawsuit 02/09/15 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning TRANSDEF today joined in two litigation coalitions to file suit. In the first lawsuit, it joined the Town of Atherton and the Community Coalition on  High-Speed Rail to challenge the Caltrain electrification EIR. TRANSDEF’s concern here is that spending $1.5 billion on electrification will not do much to help ridership. That same money would have a much bigger effect on ridership if it were spent to build the Caltrain Downtown Extension to the Transbay Transit Center. Worse, by trading its current surplus capacity to the California High-Speed Rail Authority for electrification funding,  it places a cap on its future ridership. In an era of climate change,…

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Supreme Court Turns Us Down

Supreme Court Turns Us Down 10/15/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a very disappointing decision, the California Supreme Court today denied the Petitions for Review by the Tos petitioners, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and the First Free Will Baptist Church on the Third Circuit High Speed Rail rulings in a case titled California High-Speed Rail Authority v. Superior Court. Stuart Flashman, counsel for the Tos petitioners, said, “My clients are obviously extremely disappointed in this decision. The Court of Appeal’s decision, which the Supreme Court has now let stand, means voters can no longer trust promises made in bond measures or tax measures.” Michael Brady, lead counsel for the Tos petitioners, said “The Court…

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CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA

CHSRA Declares Independence from CEQA 10/09/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a move that screams desperation, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a petition with the federal Surface Transportation Board for a declaratory order that would prevent any California court from issuing an injunction to stop the construction of the Fresno-Bakersfield portion of the project. CHSRA wants to hide behind federal preemption. See this page. By running to the feds for protection, CHSRA has told the world it cannot and will not play by California rules. In an earlier move seeking to protect its claim to federal preemption of environmental laws, CHSRA asked the Supreme Court to depublish the appellate decision in Town of Atherton…

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Supreme Court Hears from Far and Wide

Supreme Court Hears from Far and Wide 10/03/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After receiving an Answer from the California High-Speed Rail Authority, petitioners for review filed their replies. A large group of distinguished organizations, elected officials and governmental entities filed amicus curiae letters with the Supreme Court, requesting that it review the HSR cases. See this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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TRAC Ideas Exposed in the Bee

TRAC Ideas Exposed in the Bee 09/29/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning The Train Riders Association of California, TRAC, got the opportunity to put its ideas out in the State Capital’s leading newspaper, the Sacramento Bee. Hopefully, it will strike a chord with political leaders. Here’s the link to the Viewpoint article. Tags: TRAC

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CHSRA Blocked by Mountains

CHSRA Blocked by Mountains 09/27/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Bakersfield Californian broke a striking story today about previously undisclosed problems getting over the Tehachapis. The serious problems in finding an acceptable route could result in a dramatic increase in cost. They could also force a slowing down of the train, which could result in the statewide project becoming infeasible because of not meeting the required 2 hour 40 trip time from SF to LA. An internal report to the CHSRA disclosed that the grades of the route over the Tehachapis are so steep that they exceed the Authority’s standards,…

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CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA

CHSRA Tries to Ditch CEQA 09/22/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After losing part of an appellate decision, the California High-Speed Rail Authority filed a request with the California Supreme Court today, asking it to depublish the 7/31/14 ruling. That would mean no other court could consider the ruling to be precedent, thereby making it easier to argue that CEQA doesn’t apply to railroad projects that are under the jurisdiction of the Federal Surface Transportation Board. All the papers are posted at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation, CEQA, Preemption

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