FROM Tom Umberg
Can California Afford to Build High-Speed Rail? California’s High Speed Rail project and the California High Speed Rail Peer Review Group were created by state voters in Proposition 1A. The Review Group is a high-powered panel that provides the legislature with progress reports on the multi-billion dollar system to link the state’s major cities. But its latest report is a dire warning: the project represents “an immense financial risk to California” because there are no “credible sources of adequate funding.” The Rail Authority says the report is flawed—and that just releasing it will “create a cloud” threatening the very support the Review Group finds lacking.
A 'Watershed Moment' for High-Speed Rail The ultimate cost of California's high-speed rail system has doubled from $43 billion to almost $100 billion, and the completion date has now been moved from 2020 to 2033. Those announcements came today from the High-Speed Rail Authority, which is taking its latest proposal to the state legislature under deadline pressure.
First Leg of High-Speed Rail to Connect Central Valley Dots Thanks to Wisconsin and Ohio refusing to take federal money , the first leg of California's High Speed Rail system will be 58 miles longer than originally planned. Instead of going just 65 miles, it will go all the way from from Shafter to Madera, at a total cost of $5.5 billion. We talk to Tom Umberg, Vice Chair of the High Speed Rail Authority, and skeptical State Senator Alan Lowenthal.
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?