Don't be misled. In spite of what you might note in ongoing media reports regarding high-speed rail in California, there are actual thoughtful adults in Sacramento who understand the very serious stakes involved in this ultra-expensive project. Many of these people, because of their affiliation with the Democratic Party, are reluctant to voice their true beliefs about the high-speed train and its ever-escalating costs. But they know. Some have even gone public with their doubts. Local Assemblyman Jerry Hill is one; he has expressed deep reservations about high-speed rail. State Treasurer Bill Lockyer is another; he has made it clear that HSR is not going to fly financially. And that's the bottom line. No matter how you care to parse the situation, this project would be prohibitively expensive, both to build and, just as importantly, to sustain on an annual basis. It would be a drain on the state that would hamstring its tattered fiscal condition even more dramatically than it already is. Every objective analysis has concluded that HSR is unsustainable, that it's a huge mistake. Debating the merits and demerits of allowing high-speed trains to utilize the Peninsula's Caltrain corridor is pointless. Why? Because HSR is a monetary black hole, a fiscal catastrophe in the making. In the long run, Caltrain would be better off severing ties with the high-speed project and seeking its own solutions for system upgrades.
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
If you visit the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve out on the San Mateo County Coastside right now, no matter the tidal conditions, a moving feature there involves harbor seals. They tend to gather in that area to care for their pups. Which means that hungry sharks must be lurking nearby. They are natural predators and much-feared by the seals. But, on several recent excursions to the Moss Beach locale, we did not spot a single, tell-tale fin inside the extended reef line. Apparently, though seals gambol there with impunity, it's too tough for the sharks to maneuver in those relatively shallow waters. If they could, mercy, the dining opportunities would be many and readily available. Can you say "seafood buffet?"
Monday, August 29, 2011
With the economy in the dumper _ and showing few signs of a revival anytime soon _ a good deal is valued more than ever. So, all hail Leann's Cafe out on the Burlingame bayfront. The diner, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, is located at 777 Airport Blvd., inside the Red Roof Inn. The food (traditional American dishes and some wonderful Chinese specialties) is tasty, plentiful and fresh. And, what's even better, airline employees receive a 15 percent discount on all menu items. The staff is courteous, attentive and prompt. The atmosphere is casual and friendly. Check it out.
For those of you who follow the fortunes of the San Francisco Giants (and the Peninsula is definitely Giants' Country, make no mistake about that), the numbers are getting downright grim these days. As of the morning of Aug. 30, they were five full games out of first place in the National League West Division standings. There were 27 games left on their 2011 schedule. Which meant that, to get to 90 wins (a figure that would be two fewer than the club attained a year ago), they would have to go 19-8 the rest of the way, which seems rather unlikely, considering the present depressed state of the ballclub. Arizona, the surging first-place outfit, would require a finishing mark of just 14-13 to get to 90 W's. Nothing is impossible. Major league baseball has seen more daunting challenges. The Giants and Diamondbacks have six games between the two remaining. But SF optimists are in very short supply today. The 162-game schedule, a grueling marathon, has taken a toll, less than one year removed from that 2010 World Series triumph.