Wall Street Journal Editorial on HSR Case

Wall Street Journal Editorial on HSR Case 09/13/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail In a stunning editorial entitled California’s Democratic Derailment, the Wall Street Journal calls upon the California Supreme Court to save democracy by overturning the appellate decision that declared the CHSRA’s violation of Proposition 1A unenforceable: The Wall Street Journal/ Opinion, Sept. 13, 2014)   California’s Democratic Derailment Politicians ignore the legal caveats that voters added to the bullet train   In theory at least, courts and ballot referenda are checks on legislative tyranny. A California appellate court has effectively done away with both by ruling that the legal…

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TRAC Opposes Palmdale Focus

TRAC Opposes Palmdale Focus 09/04/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning The TRAC Board of Directors adopted a Resolution opposing the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s new-found interest in the Palmdale to Burbank route. Instead, the Resolution proposes that the funding available for HSR be used to create benefits for passengers in the near-term. Tags: TRAC

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HSR Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review

HSR Opponents Seek Supreme Court Review 09/02/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Attorneys challenging the California High-Speed Rail Authority’s bond funding presented a press conference today to explain the petition they filed  or will be filing with the California Supreme Court. The petitions ask the Supreme Court to review the Third District Court of Appeal decision  overturning two trial rulings that had hamstrung Californiaʼs High-Speed Rail project. The Appellate Court had ruled that “The Legislature appropriated the bond proceeds based on the preliminary funding plan, however deficient, and there is no present duty to redo the plan.” The Court also held that no evidence was needed to show that it was “necessary or desirable” to…

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Opponents of HSR Strike Back

Opponents of HSR Strike Back 08/13/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail After the Court of Appeal decision was released, HSR opponents didn’t take the defeat lying down. Instead, they filed two Petitions for Rehearing, asking the Court to reopen the case and allow further briefing and a hearing. Specifically, they claimed that the Court had used legal arguments and case authorities that hadn’t been briefed by the parties. Under these circumstances, they are entitled to a rehearing. See the petitions at the bottom of this page. Tags: HSR Litigation

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Court of Appeal Hits HSR Critics Hard

Court of Appeal Hits HSR Critics Hard 07/31/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail The Third District Court of Appeal issued rulings in the Atherton II appeal that addressed federal preemption and the Authority’s Extraordinary Writ petition recently. Both of them were very hard on HSR critics. See the posts at the bottom of the pages for links to the rulings and brief explanations. COURT OF APPEAL ALLOWS HIGH-SPEED RAIL TO VIOLATE BOND MEASURE The Third District Court of Appeal late yesterday overturned two trial rulings that had hamstrung California’s still-embattled High-Speed Rail project.The Court ruled that “The Legislature appropriated the bond proceeds based on the preliminary funding plan, however deficient, and there is no present duty to…

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Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change

Suit Challenges HSR Funding: Says It Worsens Climate Change 06/23/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Climate Change TRANSDEF, the Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, announced that it filed suit  in Fresno County Superior Court today challenging the Governor’s fallback funding scheme for High-Speed Rail (HSR). HSR was included in the list of measures to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contained in the Update to the Scoping Plan recently adopted by the California Air Resources Board (ARB). The Scoping Plan is California’s master strategy for responding to climate change. TRANSDEF’s attorney, Stuart Flashman, commented: “As a former scientist, I was disappointed that ARB ignored the scientific evidence. The huge spike in cement production needed to build all…

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MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail

MTC Wants to Bury Dumbarton Rail 05/10/14 Filed in: MTC | Transportation Planning | High-Speed Rail The staff report for MTC’s Planning and Allocations meeting, Wednesday, May 14 at 9:40 am lays out MTC’s plans to bury the Dumbarton Rail project. Transit advocates have often noted that this project is the only possible way to avoid the cost of a new multibillion Transbay tunnel to deal with the lack of capacity in BART’s Transbay tube. On April 23, TRANSDEF filed comments [this file without exhibits] with MTC, asserting legal arguments for why the proposed elimination of Regional Measure 2 funding for the Dumbarton Rail Project would be both illegal and unwise. [Comment file with…

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Caltrain Electrification–Has Caltrain Lost its Way?

Caltrain Electrification–Has Caltrain Lost its Way? 04/30/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail | Transportation Planning Caltrain issued its very large Draft Environmental Impact Report for its Peninsula Corridor Electrification Project, which depends on HSR funding to electrify the tracks from San Jose to San Francisco. TRANSDEF filed extensive Comments and Attachments, making the case for studying a fully worked-up DEMU (Dual-mode diesel-electric multiple unit) alternative. This alternative would accomplish many of the goals of the electrification project while remaining within the financial reach of Caltrain, now that HSR seems to be crashing. Because it would eliminate most if not all the…

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Appeals to be heard in May

Appeals to be heard in May 04/30/14 Filed in: High-Speed Rail Oral argument on three cases involving the CA HSR Authority will be heard by the Court of Appeal in Sacramento in May. The Town of Atherton appeal will be heard at 2:00 on Tuesday, May 20. The Extraordinary Writ for both the Tos case  and the Validation case will be heard at 9:30 on Friday, May 23. The Court is located at 914 Capitol Mall, Sacramento. Tags: HSR Litigation

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