Rod Diridon

Bay Bridge Had to be Dedicated to a Brown

The new Bay Bridge will bear the name of longtime San Francisco politician Willie L. Brown Jr. (Photo by David Yu, via Flickr)

There is no question that Willie Brown deserves the honor of having a span of the Bay Bridge named after him, given his lifetime of service to the city and county of San Francisco. Considering the political heavyweights who share that last name, there isn’t an infrastructure project since 1958 that does not have a Brown imprimatur.

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High-Speed Rail Could Skip South Bay

California’s high-speed rail line will cost an estimated $98 billion and take 20 years to complete—and might skip Silicon Valley.

A report released Monday by the High-Speed Rail Authority reiterates the authority’s consistent argument: A tunnel and underground station will not work in San Jose. Business and neighborhood groups worry that the proposed elevated structure will be a huge and unsightly addition to the cityscape. What the report does not say — yet it is being discussed internally by HSRA officials — is that the city’s advocacy of a tunnel option could push the $98 billion high-speed rail line to take an alternative path.

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High Speed Rail Under Attack

Diridon Station circa 2020, according to a plan by the California High Speed Rail Authority.

Longtime local pol-turned-mass-transit-fanboy Rod Diridon suddenly has a fight on his hands. His pet project, the California High Speed Rail Authority, has come under attack from U.S. Rep. Jerry Lewis, soon-to-be head of the House Appropriations Committee. It’s not that Lewis doesn’t like trains—this is purely political gamesmanship.

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Smaller Cities Decry High Speed Rail

At a meeting of the High-Speed Rail Authority in San Jose last night, Burlingame mayor Cathy Baylock described the proposed above-ground route as a “monster” that “will destroy the city of Burlingame” by dissecting it into two. Burlingame already has problems with the ground-level Caltrain lines running through the city, she said. While a meeting to discuss the state’s high-speed rail plan was winding down, a local man was killed by a night train running through the city.

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Pelosi and Friends in San Jose

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, introduced by Zoe Lofgren as “the most powerful woman in the world,” was warmly received at Wednesday’s Rotary lunch meeting. Photograph by Peter Carter.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi covered a lot of territory in a brief visit to the San Jose Rotary’s weekly lunch meeting today—from the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy to the empowerment of young women (the subject of her book, “Know Your Power,” which she signed at the event). But she clearly wanted the audience to take home one message: “We must have health care reform.”

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