View Mobile Site
 

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos

 

Scott Wilk: Be sure your voice is heard

Posted: August 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 27, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

I have opposed the high-speed rail project since its inception and am troubled by Gov. Jerry Brown’s single-minded pursuit of it since he took office in 2011.

Brown’s focus on such a “legacy” project comes at a cost of billions of dollars lost in deferred maintenance and improvement to our existing transportation infrastructure in this state.

Anyone who drives the roads in Southern California knows well their deplorable condition. Before we embark on such a “fantasy train,” we ought to fix the existing system upon which our citizens, economy, and future truly depend.

For those reasons, I believe Californians were sold a bill of goods. And with the fits and starts the project has encountered and the resulting dramatic changes to the project from the plan California voters approved in 2008, it is pretty clear to me that given the opportunity, they would repeal that authority.

Still, I am your Assemblyman sworn to uphold constitutional authority. We live in a system of laws, and the high-speed rail project, whatever my opinion of it, remains existing law.

Therefore, as an elected official, it is my duty to repeal it if I can, improve it if I must, and do so as the representative of all the people of the 38th Assembly District.

Accordingly, I am pleased to see the seriousness with which the High Speed Rail Authority seems to be taking the alternate route proposed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich for the Palmdale-to-Burbank section of the project through the Santa Clarita Valley.

My constituents in the 38th Assembly District are strongly opposed to the High Speed Rail Project. One reason is the proposed route heading south from Palmdale following an S-curve paralleling the Highway 14 freeway through Acton, Agua Dulce and the greater Santa Clarita Valley.

The route would negatively impact schools, churches and residential dwellings. The proposed route has already triggered disclosure on real estate transactions and is harming sellers.

In addition to the economic and community harm, it doesn’t make sense to have a train route parallel the Highway 14 freeway. As someone who lived through the Sylmar earthquake of 1971 and the Northridge earthquake of 1994, placing the route along the 14 freeway places in jeopardy both modes of transportation when the next large earthquake hits our community.

I am asking all residents of the 38th Assembly District to go on record by the Aug. 31 deadline for local input encouraging the High-Speed Rail Authority to review a tunnel-oriented alternative between the Palmdale station and the potential Burbank/Bob Hope Airport Station that would provide a more direct, faster, less costly, more environmentally friendly and less community-intrusive route between the Antelope Valley and the San Fernando Valley.

Additionally, I encourage residents to ask the authority to disavow completely the originally planned route as a way to reset the discussion and stop the disruption of the real estate markets in those communities.

I believe if the authority was to do that, a more meaningful and promising debate could begin in those communities as to the merits of the project generally.

As for me, as Abraham Lincoln said, “My mind is as open as a 40 acre field ... but that doesn’t mean I am going to change it.”

Still, clearly the alternate Antonovich proposal would provide a “win-win” solution for the authority.

To find contact information and a sample letter to the High Speed Rail Authority, please visit my website at https://ad38.assemblygop.com/ and please do so by this coming Sunday, Aug. 31, so that your voice is heard.

Scott Wilk is a Republican and represents California’s 38th Assembly District, which takes in most of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Comments

ricketzz: Posted: August 27, 2014 9:30 a.m.

Tunnels are expensive. A bridge system over the mountains would cost less and would create new monuments to our better nature. If people like Mr. Wilk had their way all the time, we'd still be using oxen. Trains are the future.


BrianBaker: Posted: August 27, 2014 10:05 a.m.

"Trains are the future."

Right along with horse-drawn carriages and buggy whips.

This Browndoggle is a money pit that no one wants or needs; it will never be financially self-sufficient; and it's wasting money that could be used on things we REALLY need, like desalination facilities.

Instead we're wasting untold billions of dollars on this absurd fiasco.


chefgirl358: Posted: August 27, 2014 12:27 p.m.

Get rid of the train idea completely please!!! This entire plan is a total disaster.


scvsoccermom82: Posted: August 27, 2014 12:31 p.m.

Thank you Assemblyman Wilk, everyone should let their voices be heard. We have to stop the train!!


politicsrock: Posted: August 27, 2014 12:34 p.m.

I have NO idea why this project is even on California's agenda. The Democrats act like money grows on trees--especially with this project. Don't they know that for every $1 million in bonds we use, we pay $2 million in principle and interest? The whole idea is erroneous.


tech: Posted: August 27, 2014 12:46 p.m.

"Trains are the future." - ricketzz

No matter how many times you repeat this fallacy, it isn't factual, ricketzz.

I suggest you build a model railroad in your home and wear a conductor hat. That will make trains YOUR future.


Nitsho: Posted: August 27, 2014 2:42 p.m.

"Trains are the future." - ricketzz

Said no one in the past 100 years.


CastaicClay: Posted: August 27, 2014 3:23 p.m.

So write a petition/bill and put it to a vote and have the 2008 bill reversed. We can vote it out...right?


tech: Posted: August 27, 2014 3:59 p.m.

No petition gets on the ballot without tens of thousands of dollars in expenditure for paid signature gatherers, CC.


jdebree: Posted: August 27, 2014 4:03 p.m.

I am a huge train enthusiast and model railroader. I have rode on bullet trains in Europe. While I think they are really cool, this is a project that is way too expensive. In addition to the costs of constructing the railroad, many of the bullet trains do not pay for themselves and are subsidized by the local government. I just don't see the economic return justifying the expenditures.


CastaicClay: Posted: August 27, 2014 4:34 p.m.

Which would cost more in the end? If the SCV can get the billboard contract put to a vote can't the state get enough support? Wilk should at least try and not just put his tail between his legs and give in. Where is his leadership?


Lotus8: Posted: August 27, 2014 5:41 p.m.

This is the problem with the red team in this state. They like to tell you that they don't agree with the blue team, but then throw their hands up and accept that the blue team makes all the rules so they have no power. Then why did we elect you or your party? Get out there and scream from the hills that this train is a complete disaster. Get fired up! Go on television, call out the governor, use your staff to start a petition drive, be an activist for the cause. Don't just sit there and write letters to the paper about a tunnel. Forget property disclosures...This is the future of the state we are talking about here! Sad.


CaptGene: Posted: August 27, 2014 6:19 p.m.

Can't Wilk introduce legislation to either block or withhold funding from this ridiculous boondoggle? If not, what does he do all day?


tech: Posted: August 27, 2014 7:40 p.m.

The Republicans in the State Legislature suffer from Stockholm Syndrome.


ricketzz: Posted: August 28, 2014 9:43 a.m.

Airplanes are bad for the future of the planet as a livable place. You can't ignore the elephant (global warming) in the room. The free ride is over. The sooner we accept that which we cannot change the better we'll all be. Climate realities are forcing a change in the way we live. Not my idea. Don't shoot me, I'm only the messenger.


tech: Posted: August 28, 2014 11:18 a.m.

With rising global affluence, air travel will continue the decades long trend of increase and affordability.

The data supports that fact and doesn't confirm your assertions, ricketzz. There's no shooting involved. Rather, it's head scratching at your absurd "messenger" prognostications.

As humanity has done for millennia, we'll adapt as required.


Indy: Posted: August 28, 2014 4:16 p.m.

24 Countries on Track for High-Speed Rail
by Beth Goodbaum | July 10th, 2012
http://news.thomasnet.com/IMT/2012/07/10/24-countries-on-track-for-high-speed-rail/

While 14 countries operate high-speed rail (HSR) systems today, in just two years that number will rise to 24, including China, France, Italy, Spain, Japan and the United States, independent research organization Worldwatch Institute reveals. Worldwatch, which works on energy, resource and environmental issues, explores the key reasons why the system is a success around the globe.

HSR systems have proven to be effective at bridging the gap between vast geographic distances and isolated regions in a relatively short time span, and they are also an alternative to conventional but less eco-efficient plane and auto transportation. Worldwatch cites the Center for Neighborhood Technologies’ analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, which reveals that HSR lines produce 30-70 grams of carbon dioxide per passenger kilometer, compared to 170 for airplanes and 150 for automobiles.

The benefits of HSR systems go beyond travel and eco-friendliness. Jobs created for such networks could boost the economy. A high-speed network that operates electric trains could also reduce U.S. dependency on foreign oil. Discovery provides a list of the additional benefits of high-speed rail.

With such extensive advantages, high-speed rail has spread fast— but mostly across Europe. France’s HSR systems account for 62 percent of European high-speed rail travel, while Worldwatch reports that Spain has the largest high-speed rail network in Europe, at approximately 2,000 kilometers in length. In 2004, the Spanish government implemented its Strategic Plan for Infrastructure and Transport, which calls for 44 percent of transportation investment to be directed toward rail development.

China, which set a goal of building nearly 12,000 kilometers of high-speed rail lines by 2020, has also been recognized as a global rail leader.

Based on track length, China, Spain, France, Germany and Japan are leading the way on high-speed rail development. Other countries that plan to expand track lengths to exceed 1,000 kilometers include Turkey, Portugal, the U.S. and Italy.

In April, “Italo” was introduced in Italy, the country’s newest high-speed rail locomotive. Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori, Italo’s creator and Europe’s first private operator of high-speed domestic trains, announced that it will run 25 trains to connect nine of the country’s cities, with a 20-25 percent market share expected by 2014, the New York Times reports.

With speeds reaching 186 miles per hour and passenger amenities that include Wi-Fi and special cinema coaches, such domestic rail lines may become a trademark for European transportation, a travel goal that has been heavily advocated for, but difficult to achieve, in the U.S.

Indy: Here's my 'voice' Scott . . . nothing the US used to 'lead' in transportation . . .


mapleleaftech: Posted: August 28, 2014 4:44 p.m.

Indy: Other Country's have Transportation to there Airports, What do we have here in LA, you can't even get to LAX on a Train.You want to wast Money on a High Speed Train, Los Angeles to San Francisco, that nobody want's, except the
Nut we call a Governor. Before any more Money is wasted, it should be voted on by
the people of California


Indy: Posted: August 28, 2014 9:52 p.m.

Mapleleaftech,

Why do you think the other nations are investing in high speed rail?

What’s different from there to here?


ricketzz: Posted: August 29, 2014 10:13 a.m.

Southwest Airlines lobbying organizations.


tech: Posted: August 29, 2014 1:17 p.m.

"Southwest Airlines lobbying organizations." - ricketzz

LOL! Because there's no light or "high speed" rail advocates, eh ricketzz? And Southwest is on the union hit list due to pay scale freeze proposals, right?

Let's shine a little light on who supports the CA rail boondoggle, shall we?

Cap-and-trade could provide billions of dollars for the bullet train over the next several years, a relatively small chunk of the project's overall $68-billion price tag. However, the money would arrive at a critical time. Voter-approved bond funding has been stalled by lawsuits, and the state needs to begin matching federal grants with its own dollars next month.

H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance, said the governor is pleased that the budget includes "an ongoing source of funding to move this project forward."

The cap-and-trade program provides the "single largest new source of capital into our budget," said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and the money is required by law to be spent on programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Apart from the 25% earmarked for high-speed rail, the budget deal would direct 35% of cap-and-trade funds to other transit projects and affordable housing. The rest of the money would be available for initiatives involving natural resources, energy efficiency and cleaner forms of transportation.

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-pol-state-budget-20140613-story.html


tech: Posted: August 30, 2014 7:24 p.m.

This clarifies that cap-and-trade is viewed as another tax revenue stream rather than an environmental program.

Recall that the gas tax was for road maintenance/infrastructure and the CA Lottery was about education. Yeah, right.

Follow the money.


ricketzz: Posted: September 2, 2014 9:49 a.m.

I don't know anything about union relationships. Southwest Airlines has lobbied against high speed rail repeatedly, because they know people hate the airport and will flock to a system that allows them to avoid getting groped or scanned naked to make a business lunch in Sacramento.


tech: Posted: September 2, 2014 12:29 p.m.

It's obvious you haven't traveled for business in a long time, ricketzz.


MarkD: Posted: September 2, 2014 8:43 p.m.

"Anyone who drives the roads in Southern California knows well their deplorable condition... we ought to fix the existing system upon which our citizens, economy, and future truly depend."-Scott Wilk
This statement is silly. Just about every freeway in LA County is being expanded and improved. I think we have a lot of short-sighted folks in SCV. The high speed train could be very beneficial but we need a stop in SCV so we can share the benefits.


ricketzz: Posted: September 3, 2014 9:24 a.m.

When I traveled for business I carried a hundred pounds (easy) of tools and test equipment. After 9-11 it became impossible to fly with tools in carry-on and if they are checked they are subject to theft. Except for my annual trip to Nashville in November (where I sent my bags ahead on a truck) I haven't flown in about 10 years. I love to drive. I love to see the country at ground level.


tech: Posted: September 3, 2014 12:12 p.m.

Thanks for confirming my observation about your business travel, ricketzz.

I don't begrudge you the enjoyment of rail travel. One of my life's memorable moments was when my parents arranged a train trip to San Diego Zoo via train from L.A. Union Station when I was 12. It was quite a birthday celebration and my 11 year old brother and I were over the moon with excitement!

I too love to drive through our beautiful country for pleasure. :-)


Indy: Posted: September 3, 2014 5:11 p.m.

Tech wrote: This clarifies that cap-and-trade is viewed as another tax revenue stream rather than an environmental program.

Indy: Interesting, the poster being a ‘libertarian market fundamentalist’ simply ignores the science of climate change ( go here for science: http://www.skepticalscience.com/ ) and even ignores the ‘market’ solution in that ‘taxing carbon’ will reduce its usage.

Just a quick ‘quick quip’ that appears to be more centered on the ideology of libertarianism where ‘every tax’ to support social goals is ‘bad’.

The bigger issue with the carbon tax is to now start ‘recognizing’ the environmental externalities (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_economics ) not recognized in the burning of fossil fuels.

Tech wrote: Recall that the gas tax was for road maintenance/infrastructure and the CA Lottery was about education. Yeah, right. Follow the money.

Indy: Sadly, as the republican voter registration has fallen below 30% in CA, the number of republican legislators has likewise fallen.

But the ‘minority’ has had a great ‘anti-tax’ weapon where any tax increases requires a 66% majority such that republican have been able to stop all tax increases with a 33%+1 minority that has created the ‘unintended consequences’ of ‘robbing’ tax resources from other areas, in this case, the highway funds.

So until we get a group of legislators to talk rationally with the public, we’re left with ideologues on sites such as this presenting their side of things but generally lacking any ‘big picture’ including the context of the issue, the back story of same, and of course ‘facts’ that are usually ‘conservative ideology belief points’ that don’t map to reality as we see here.


tech: Posted: September 4, 2014 7:25 p.m.

Your usual ad hominems do not refute these facts, Indy:

H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance, said the governor is pleased that the budget includes "an ongoing source of funding to move this project forward."

The cap-and-trade program provides the "single largest new source of capital into our budget," said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and the money is required by law to be spent on programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The "requirement" statement by Assemblyman Bloom is a blatant lie as "affordable housing" isn't environmental policy.

Follow the money.


Indy: Posted: September 5, 2014 5:28 p.m.

Tech wrote: Your usual ad hominems do not refute these facts, Indy:

Indy: Just a note . . . when this poster can’t deal with the topic . . . the accusaions and ‘straw man’ arguments are put forth as a proxy for real debate . . . pathetic? You decide . . .

Tech wrote: H.D. Palmer, spokesman for Brown's Department of Finance, said the governor is pleased that the budget includes "an ongoing source of funding to move this project forward."

The cap-and-trade program provides the "single largest new source of capital into our budget," said Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), and the money is required by law to be spent on programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Indy: Here the poster is asserting that both our Assemblyman Wilk and State Senator Knight are incompetent . . . unable to monitor and manage our laws . . . sad, isn’t it?


tech: Posted: September 6, 2014 3:13 p.m.

Indy: Here the poster is asserting that both our Assemblyman Will and State Senator Knight are incompetent . . . unable to monitor and manage our laws . . . sad, isn’t it?

Your straw man is a sad, infantile distortion.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Senate#Composition

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Assembly#Composition


ricketzz: Posted: September 9, 2014 3:34 p.m.

Actually FedExing the luggage ahead of the flight is getting more common by the day, with the baggage fees and the losing of your stuff, Mr. Sophisticated Flyer.


tech: Posted: September 9, 2014 8:28 p.m.

Since I am a sophisticated flyer, I travel with carry on and don't check my baggage.

You're a train advocate and travel a long distance annually; I can see your point about using an overnight service like FedEx as your baggage is likely to arrive ahead of you. That's because those services use aircraft. --edited.


CaptGene: Posted: September 12, 2014 7:00 p.m.

So, cricketzz actually creates a larger carbon footprint for his stuff by using aircraft AND rail for the same trip...very creative.


tech: Posted: September 14, 2014 11:49 a.m.

It's about the message over reality, CG. See: Al Gore and James Cameron.



You need to be a registered user to post a comment. Please click here to register.

The Signal encourages readers to interact with one another, following the guidelines outlined in our Comment/Moderation Policy. Click here to read it.

To report offensive or inappropriate comments, e-mail abuse@signalscv.com. The content posted from readers of signalscv.com does not necessarily represent the views of The Signal or Morris Multimedia. By submitting this form you agree to the terms and conditions listed above. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

 
 

Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...