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July 31, 2013     The Julian News
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July 31, 2013
 

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July 31, 2013 California Commentary Trillion Dollar Train? by Jon Coupal After the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, the replacement span for the Bay Bridge was originally expected to be completed by 1994 and cost less than a billion dollars. To say that those responsible for this project missed their targets would be a gross understatement. With broken bolts and all, the bridge still isn't open and now its projected cost is over $6 billion. So who is responsible? As for the delay, political meddling by then Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown insisting on a "world class" bridge and SF Mayor Willie Brown's leveraging the SF-owned Treasure Island anchorage point as a bargaining chip has to assume some share of blame for the ten-year delay. Add to that CalTrans' bureaucratic incompetence. CalTrans, simply put, wanted to show that it could take on a huge public works project. This resulted in a bureaucratic turf war with the vested interests in the state capitol winning out over common sense and the public interest. Keeping the design and materials approval process within CalTrans is exactly why we have what we have today -- designs were selected because of political decisions. Materials decisions were left up to politically connected bureaucrats. And the endless delays means that the five year bridge has now taken 25 years so that a CalTrans employee could have spent his or her entire career, and started collecting a pension, simply by working on this one project. In short, the current system incentivizes delay. And yet, have you heard of anyone being fired for any of this gross incompetence? Now, let's take what happened with the Bay Bridge and extrapolate it to High Speed Rail. There is absolutely no reason to believe that the same problems won' repeat temselves i First, the way California government conducts business, the longer this goes on, and the more delays we see, the more rewards there are for the people building the system. None : of that culture has changed in Sacramento. Second, just like when Jerry Brown objected to the original Bay Bridge plan because of his insistence on a world class bridge, look what happened when his own team was brought in to reevaluate the HSR plan. His team finished their evaluation and announced the new plan would cost $95 billion (or roughly triple what voters were told when they approved the HSR ballot measure.) When the public rightfully went ballistic over the price, Brown made them go back and lower the price to $65 billion. HSR tried to cover up the sudden reduction by claiming this was now a "blended" plan, (which violates the provisions of the ballot measure) but when the Anaheim supporters threw a tantrum because the Anaheim leg wasn't in the $65 billion plan, HSR went back and included the Anaheim leg, but didn't increase the $65 billion, estimate! So they want us to believe the LA-Anaheim leg isn't going to cost anything? Really? Politics and vested interests are driving HSR, not responsible management; To recap: It took our dysfunctional state government 25 years and $6.4 Billion to build a four mile bridge they told us would take just five years and less than a billion. Nobody has been held accountable for this colossal failure and waste of money. Now, the same cast of characters is telling us they're going to a build a 400 mile High Speed Rail system, which will include dozens of bridges and tunnels, right of way purchases, environmental reviews (and delays) track, power delivery systems, operating systems, stations, and trains, and it's going to do all that in the same amount of time and at just ten times the cost of their half-a-bridge in San Francisco Bay. No one in their right mind would believe such a claim. So, California, are you ready for your Trillion Dollar Train? Jon Coupal is president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association -- Califc)rnia's largest grass-roots taxpayer organization dedicated to the protection of Proposition 13 and the advancement of taxpayers' rights. R.F.D. by Mike Marland Weekly SUDOKU by Linda Thistle 3 7 6 4 8 6 5 2 4 9 1 2 6 7 5 1 2 9 8 6 4 5 8 3 5 8 1 6 2 9 Place a number in the empty boxes in such a way that each row across, each column down and each small 9-box square contains all of the numbers from one to nine. DIFFICULTY THIS WEEK: * * * * Moderate ** Challenging * ** HOO BOY! 2013 King Features Synd., Inc. The Julian News 13 M0tTNTAIN FARMS REt00TY HOMES . LAND , RENTALS , PROPERTY MANAGEMENT .VACATION RENTALS 2019 Main Street www.julian-realestate.com 76o.7o5.o,,,111 II Panoramic View Home 3300 Sq.Ft. 4 Bedroom/3.5 Bath 2 car garage with workshop. Uniquly designed custom home with all the amenities. 3 Fireplaces, Radiant floor heating, solar, 5 decks, on 2.52 acres. Unsurpasse, J views ofVolcan Mt., the Desert and Julian Countryside. Don't Miss this! Offered for $975,000 Harrison Park Haven Just completed. 4,000 sq.ff, family home overlooking meadows, mountains. 4 Bedroom/3 Bath w/ huge bonus room. 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Both lots at a discounted rate of $320K -'V 4132 aCres-on Eagle Peak Rd, Septicl Well, Electric, Panoramic Views $175K .............. "V' Level .65 parcel with great access in Harrison Park. Survey, Perc Test Complete and Septic Layout. Overlooking Kenner Ranch. Offered for $45,000 A mule won't sink in quicksand but a donkey will. ACROSS 1 Beige 5 Owns 8 Excellent, in slang 12 "You've got 13 Individual 14 Wealth source 15 "-- She Lovely" 16 Periodical, for short 17 Congrega- tion's cry 18 Govern- ment in power 20 Stress 22 Wrestling surface 23 Towel designation 24 Vocal come- back 27 Snake- related 32 To and -- 33 Personal question? 34 Ernesto Guevara 35 Middle-ear membrane 38 Old card game 39 Shade source 40 Ram's mate 42 Of Hebrew descent 45 Lighthouse light 49 Shaving cream ;0000trange by BUT-TRUE It was President Abraham Lincoln who made the following sage observation: "The man who is incapable of making a mistake is incapable of anything." Researchers at Harvard University once decided to test several varieties of Coca-Cola to determine their effectiveness, if any, as a spermicide. The results? Diet Coke was the most effective, while New Coke was the least. Upon hearing of the tests, a representative for Cr().,sword I 2 3 12 15 18 I _>4 32 35 42 ..,.,,.,,,.,  i 49 ..4-- 53 56 5 13 16 27 33 44 54 I m m 9 10 11 __ __ I 30 31 34 46 47 48 additive grew up to do the 50 Tokyo's old 6 Literary town name collection 30 "Eureka!" 52 Tardy 7 Genesis 31 Trawler need 53 Catherine, name 36 Needlenose Henry VIIl's 8 Tranquil tool sixth wife 9 Nostalgic, in 37 Mornings 54 Moreover a way (Abbr.) 55 Grand story 10 Port of 38 Unopened 56 BPOE Yemen 41 You and I members tl Camper's 42 Scoff 57 Deposit shelter 43 Israeli airline 58 Dilbert's 19 Mother 44 Get better workplace 21 Actor 46 Garb for McBride Superman DOWN 24 Salamander 47 Elevator 1 Eastern 25 Weep name potentate 26 Student's 48 Choker 2 24 bottles assignment location 3 Peal 28 Dien Bien 51 "CSI" 4 In the - (Vietnam evidence preceding city) companion month 29 One 5 Where you disinclined. 2013 King Features Synd.. Inc. the company issued the following statement: "We do not promote Coca-Cola for medical purposes. It is a soft drink." The minnow has teeth, but they're not in its mouth; they're found in the throat. Ever wonder where we get the term "blurb" to indicate a short summary or promotional piece accompanying a creative work? At a trade association dinner in 1907, author Gelett Burgess presented attendees with a limited edition of one of his books. It was customary to have a brief summary included on the dust jacket of such books, along with a picture of an attractive woman. Burgess followed this custom E) with a twist. On the cover of his piece was an image II of a woman with her hand held J_ v to her mouth, as if shouting. -- The caption for this image was N-V I "Belinda Blurb, in the act of II s blurbing," and bold letters at the i N 3 top of the dust jacket declared, N 3 W "Yes, this is a Blurb!" The name  c] o stuck. J_ v H On an average day in the United States, there will be 10 reported UFO sightings. It seems that artist Leonardo g da Vinci pioneered the paint-by- 6 numbers style of art. He would 8 sketch a piece, then number certain sections for his assistants i to paint. I. 9 Thought for the Day: "People demand freedom of speech to make L up for the freedom of thought which they avoid." It -- Soren Kierkegaard 2013 King Features Syndicate, Inc. America00s Favorite 1. Apple /.. 2. Pumpkin  : i{ 3. Chocolate creme ) ";(: " ," 4. Cherry IJi;o_ .': 5. Apple crumb, :- : ,r.  , ':'" ::- 6. recan \\;c,: -'7 7. Lemon Merinie i 8. Blueberry iii : 9. Key lime " ",',, , .-.,q ', 10. Peach "-  -,..q Source: www.epicurious.com -- King Crossword -- Answers Solution time: 25 rains. s 3 Isl: q 3 0 I d lUlU V a v lalo ] v NOD 3 P Idllhl A 1 0 El --I HO 3 II Weekly SUDOKU Answer g 9 L 8 J 6 Z L  g It 9 8 I. 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