Thursday, April 17, 2014

High-speed rail loses again

California Common Sense

From yesterday's Fresno Bee:

A state appeals court rejected a petition by the California High-Speed Rail Authority, potentially clearing the tracks for a trial over whether the agency's controversial and ambitious bullet-train plan can comply with state law.

Three justices with the the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento issued an order late Tuesday summarily denying the rail agency's March 21 request related to a lawsuit by high-speed rail foes in Kings County. The rail authority had asked the appeals court to overturn a Sacramento County Superior Court's decision ordering a trial on one part of a lawsuit while another portion of the case is pending an appeal.

"It's nice when you win one," said Stuart Flashman, an Oakland attorney representing Kings County farmer John Tos, Hanford homeowner Aaron Fukuda and the Kings County Board of Supervisors. "I thought this (petition) was stupid, and by issuing a summary judgment, it looks like the justices thought so, too"...

Flashman said he expects that the rail authority will ask the California Supreme Court to review Tuesday's ruling. "I'm also guessing that review will be quickly denied," he said. "That means that the trial on the issue of the Authority's violations of Prop. 1A's requirements...will move forward, probably some time this summer..."

Thanks to Citizens for California High-Speed Rail Accountability for the link.

Kathy Hamilton on the decision.

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The Bicycle Coalition's new website

The Bicycle Coalition has a new website that looks like the old site on steroids, with pumped up type size and lots of pictures. Most of all it's about selling itself and making it easy for members and potential members to give it money, which is what you expect a special interest group to do.

But the new format dumps the archives of the old site, years of press releases, position papers, and candidates' questionnaires.

I sent this inquiry to Kristin Smith, the SFBC's "Communications Director," but I got no communication in response:

Ms. Smith:

Your new website doesn't have any link to your archives---all the old press releases, candidates' questionnaires, back issues of the Tube Times, etc. Is all that material permanently lost, down the Orwellian memory hole?

Rob Anderson

We can safely assume that this electronic trove of recent San Francisco history is gone. If you don't have hard copies of these documents, they effectively no longer exist. The Memory Hole has done its thing once again.

This isn't a new problem, since the Examiner's archives are only sporadically helpful, and the Bay Guardian's issue archive only goes back to 2006. Fog City Journal's archives are easily accessible. I've posted about how San Francisco Magazine has apparently dumped its archives completely, thus erasing the few interesting stories they've published over the years. I guess the city's history is a "luxury" its readers can do without.

Every post to this blog going back to the first post in December, 2004, is listed next to the home page. Beyond Chron's archive system is similarly transparent and easily available.

A lot of local politicians will be happy that their sycophantic responses to the Bicycle Coalition's election year questionnaires are now no longer available. Jane Kim, Quentin Mecke, Ross Mirkarimi, and all the 2012 District 5 candidates for supervisor have had their ass-kissing responses disappear into cyber-limbo.

And the Bicycle Coalition's pages on issues---the Bay Bridge bike lane, Level of Service, and CEQA are gone, as are all but a few issues of Tube Times. That's no loss intellectually, but it means that a chunk of the city's history is gone.

Here are my responses to the 2008 Bicycle Coalition questionnaire, which may now be the only complete copy available. 

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