The Las Vegas Railway Express, operators of the X Train coming next summer to connect Sin City with southern California may use a North Las Vegas station to initially terminate their service in Nevada, but there’s no question that their plan for reaching our area is focused ONLY on the Fullerton Metrolink/Amtrak station. The new $174 million ARTIC Train Station under construction in Anaheim will not be receiving this new $100 million privately-funded venture, just as it can’t be expected to see Jerry Brown’s High-Speed Bullet Train — a $100+ BILLION Boondoggle that won’t be funded or completed in our lifetimes as California’s fiscal condition continues to deteriorate and Federal funding for it has evaporated.
Time to Rethink and Reconstitute the OCTA Taxpayers Oversight Committee
A transportation consultant whose company is working on millions of dollars of Orange County projects won appointment this week to an oversight panel charged with protecting taxpayer money on those very same projects. Les Card, the chief executive of Irvine-based LSA Associates, said almost immediately that he would not accept the post and blamed his appointment on a misunderstanding. But the episode exposed a crack in the system that’s meant to safeguard billions of dollars that Orange County taxpayers have invested in transportation.
Ruh roh! It looks like Lucy Dunn, the President of the Orange County Business Council (OCBC), really blew it when she sent out an email promoting her pal Kris Murray, who is running for re-election to the Anaheim City Council. You see the OCBC accepts taxpayer money and as such they are not allowed to endorse candidates. They have a Political Action Committee that is supposed to do that. But look at what Dunn had to say in her email blast:
From the Desk of Lucy Dunn… Continue reading
Lurking in the back of the OCTA‘s Measure M
Wasteful Boondoggles Projects File is another streetcar project in Santa Ana. It’s not as expensive (for now) as the $319 million debacle that’s been cooked up in Anaheim by the City Council and the Toontown Troika of SOAR, the OC Business Council and Master of the Universe Curt Pringle’s team of lackeys, but it’s just as big a turkey, and just as redundant to existing bus systems. The Register reports today (don’t worry about the paywall) that so far it’s coming in at a minor $209 million even though it’s longer and has five times more stops than the Murray/Eastman Express.
From Lou Gonzales’ story, there are some absolutely priceless quotes from a clueless, in-the-dark City Councilman and his colleague, Michele Martinez, a failed Mayoral candidate:
We’re reprinting the standard OCTA Press Release below that announces Darrell Johnson as Chief Executive Officer of the Orange County Transportation Authority. It’s nothing that wasn’t already reported here, but good news in that his predecessor, the feckless Will Kempton, is finally gone. The Orange County ruling class (that’s likely never ridden a bus), led by the self-anointed OC Business Council, hosted a roast honoring his departure Thursday last.
So congratulations, Darrell — you’ve paid your dues and ascended to a well paying public sector job that’s going to be tough to lose.
Demographics are our destiny, so they say. In Orange County, there’s some good news: OC enjoys the lowest unemployment rate of any major metropolitan area in California, at 6.8%, signaling the slow recovery to a new economic prosperity is underway. Orange County is the medical device capital of the world–from heart valves to stints to tubing to hip replacement parts to nanotechnology–the county is a medical innovation hub of distinction. Orange County is home to state-of-the-art research development firms like Allergan and AMO, preparing for the next generation of health technology. OC residents’ sense of well-being is strong and, excluding obesity, there is a general decline in the leading causes of death. Continue reading