In 2008 the people of California approved the funding of California high-speed rail. I confess that I voted for it.
In the greatest bait-and-switch in human history, the $30 billion cost has become $100 billion. The pledge to not start construction until all funding is identified has become "let's start immediately and figure out what to do when we run out of funds." The ridership estimate has been cut in half and is still too high by a factor of 10. The claim that no operating subsidy will be needed when the system is finished is a joke. This system will bankrupt the state and force cuts in education and local public transportation, which is where our transportation dollars should be going.
The No Train Please Act is a ballot initiative to end the high-speed rail project. It has been qualified to gather signatures to put the issue to the people on the November ballot.
850,000 signatures are needed. They must be collected by June 1. There are no wealthy people backing this, so there is no money for paid signature gatherers. Thus, qualifying the initiative will be a stretch.
You can download the petition from the No Train Please website.
Track college requirements
While a change to Gunn and Paly's graduation requirements necessarily takes years to implement, there is a change in information provided to Gunn and Paly students and parents that can be done quickly.
Unofficial high school transcripts could list progress toward UC and CSU requirements along with progress toward Palo Alto Unified School District graduation requirements.
Such a change could provide the necessary information to current and future students and parents about these requirements and whether they are being met. We might even find that listing progress toward UC and CSU requirements has the desired effect of increasing the percentage of students who meet them, without putting additional stress and hurdles for those who plan to attend colleges that don't have these admission requirements.
Let's provide individualized UC and CSU requirements status information to our high school students now. Information is power. Let's start there first.
Arthur M. Keller
Prop. 8: church and state
Justice has been served by the overturn of the Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage. I hope that the value of equal rights for all stands supreme.
To those who disagree, I point out that your church may not recognize gay marriage, however marriage under the eyes of the law, which carries with it many rights and privileges under the law, must be recognized.
To set the law according the standards of religion would be a clear violation of the separation of church and state — the Constitution doesn't just protect the rights we like. Liberty and justice for all. Period.