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December 12, 2012


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Warren Buffet probably would agree with you. He is buying railroads.
I was at the Portland last night and watched the rail cars whiz by with fairly good occupancy. The restaurant was filled with beautiful people dressed in fine suits from the New York cutting tables. They chattered and drank martinis with delicate sips.
My friend was concerned that management would ask us to leave since our Levis and T-shirts seemed out of place. I assured her since it was Arizona and we had money, we were OK as we ate our Tommy and Alfredo Burgers.

Environmentally I agree with light rail.And for Phoenix it could mean the city can achieve that Mega city many, including Michael Crow, dream about. But Phoenix larger than 200,000 folks is a nightmare, to me.

I awakened early from a dream, (to post this entry) where I was in my 14" trailer camped out in Organ Pipe, watching the Coatimundi and quail stroll by. And feeding an occasional straggling illegal immigrant headed to the mega city and the American dream busing tables in restaurants serving the likes of the kookocracy.

AZreb, R we still on for fan club meet at Urban Bean Saturday?
11 AM or 2 PM ???

Jon, your posting time is off by an hour?


Reb 11 AM it is.
I invited Hayduke and his pals petro, the eclectic perro

Jon: does the Phoenix-Tucson passenger rail line stand a chance? If so, who/what will drive such an initiative?

(Off-topic but sorta relevant: my U of Iowa alumni magazine just ran a climate change denial piece written by a member from Tucson. It was a feature, not just a letter.)

god is in charge in Iowa
thats why i left

cal: I'm still chuckling about your 14" trailer. Gives rise to some tasteless jokes.

Side note: a review of Dark December appears in the previous thread. Two more reviews to appear.

morecleanair I am not related to John Holmes.

Morecleanair, ADOT is actually leading the charge for intercity commuter rail between Phoenix and Tucson. A link with a video on the subject, a survey, and more information:

Rail funding, mainly by Phoenix, reminds me of the city's new plan to temporarily tax hospitals in order to acquire matching federal funds for AHCCCS. Since the state won't do it, the city has to step in and get it done. The Phoenix Access to Care Ordinance is backed by the healthcare industry and hospital executives. This should be a statewide concern but it is left to the city again.

phxsunfan i was just going to post , where are you, and here u r. Good to hear from you. As usual the dinasours at the state capitol never lead except to make it more difficult for the poor and disadvantaged. I am very suspect of why ADOT is "PUSHING"

Around the Holidays I get really busy with family and friends. And it is "cold" and rainy in Phoenix so you have to be out enjoying the "holiday" feel of it all.

I suspect ADOT is pushing for more rail because they are tired of repaving and adding thousands of miles of pavement only to have more congestion, negating any "upgrades". Besides, some federal funding is at stake for adding rail transit.

I'm currently designing a light rail corridor that runs along Grand Ave (not on the railroad tracks) from Downtown Phoenix to Downtown Glendale as an alternative to both the I-10 west light rail ("Phoenix West") and a western light rail spur from 19th Ave.

I'll also be designing another corridor that uses Bus Rapid Transit (fixed guideway) along I-10 from the Hance Deck Park Tunnel to Avondale near Loop 101 & I-10 and an eastern extension from the Tunnel to Papago Park.

I'll share my designs when I'm finally finished with this self-proposed project.

Phxsunfan: glad you R enjoying "The Holidays". The rain will give us great clouds and breathable air for a few days before we have to put the face masks back on.

Given ADOT's history and Southwest political connections and its middle management controllers I suspect its about construction funding that will benefit their people and not because its the "right" thing to do.


There is little hope for Phoenix-Tucson passenger rail without leadership from the governor and support in the legislature. A supporting congressional delegation is also useful.

The Union Pacific will initially just say, "no." This is why you need senators and representatives who will take them aside and say, "You want (this goodie) from the federal government? Then play well with others in my state." The old Southern Pacific (bought by UP) ran more passenger and freight trains on the line between Phoenix and Tucson than it does today.

However, the state must be willing to help the railroad expand its siding, signalling, positive train control, etc. And, again, the delegation must be willing to push for federal grants. This is how very successful passenger rail has been built in Southern California, the Bay Area/Sacramento/San Joaquin Valley, and the Pacific Northwest.

This is nothing exotic. It's standard and proved, and the best practices are available to be studies. Indeed, two new Talgo trainsets are ready for purchase, having been turned down by Wisconsin's switch to a predictably anti-rail GOP. And Milwaukee-Chicago already has plentiful passenger service. Arizona is just behind (again).

But ADOT is as meaningless as MAG. And mayors alone can't do the heavy lifting.

An APS billboard featuring wind turbines and solar arrays! Does there exist a more impudent band of thieves?

It is difficult to envision Arizona Senator Flake and the state's congressional delegation petitioning the federal government for transportation grants. Flake as House Representative built his brand on budget cutting at any societal cost.

Texas and Arizona are of course fellow travelers in a backward looking approach to governance. The distinction being that Texans are commercially pragmatic and bring home the federal bacon. Arizona is run by out of state right-wing ideologues who place their ideology above the economic development of Arizona.

The two trains in Milwaukee mentioned by Rogue were part of an $800 million federal transportation grant that the the newly elected Republican Scott Walker returned to the US Treasury. Pathetic!

After easy election of blue warrior Senator Baldwin and re-election of Obama in the Badger State, Walker will have difficulty in his 2014 re-election bid because he won't benefit from the gerrymandering that inordinately protects Republicans against the state's Democratic urban voting bloc.

The Middle Western Republican influence brought into Arizona has more of a Missouri or Kansas right-wing flavor to it than that found in the region's north. Whereas in Minnesota or Wisconsin Republicans generally are motivated by reduction in taxes, Kansans and Missourians hold strong ideological beliefs against government services altogether. The Kansas City area is the redneck epicenter of the country. Really worse than Texas. This influence is predominant in present day Arizona.

homeless, I take you have never been to Arkansas or Alabama...

I would argue that Arizona's influence has been from Republican regions of Ohio. In Ohio you have conservatives that don't mind some diversity but have issues with poorer minorities (in Ohio that has caused white flight to the burbs, in Arizona is causes SB 1070). Ohio repubs want government to cut spending and hate taxes; however, they want their medicare, social security and military spending left untouched. And Arpaio was able to squeeze out one last victory (only 50.7% of the vote) this time and much of his contributions (the "war chest" as he calls it) come from out of state...I suspect Ohio as being one of those states.

The above mention of the insipid but yet rabid mindset of current politicians will require
"a point where our old models must be discarded and a new reality rules."

an angry note. RE: The murder of small school children and teachers.I am not surprised when nut jobs like Reverend Huckabee talk about "evil" visited today. That kind of chatter was all over world news.And now I am getting the evil word from "friends."

One friend (he does not believe in mental illness) told me, that since I was an Agnostic I was not capable of understanding how gods plan to take little kids lives is all part of the bigger picture?

My response to him:

OH, the killer was Satan? The lesser god that fell out of favor with the big god?

So Satan is so sick he decided today was a good day to kill little kids?

I suppose that "It was all part of Gods plan for us"and those little kids needed to leave for a better deal?

So far we have been told the killer was a "mentally ill Gothic alleged genius." In my opinion that has a lot of similarity (leave out the genius part)to organized religion and its nut cases like Huckabee; one sick MF that wanted to be president. (thanks to his gods plan he lost.)

I said to my friend, Well friend, according my Mayan buddies in a few days you should drink some James Jones koolaid as the space ship is about to lift off.

Side note: If you ever wondered how Muslim guerrilla fighters in third-world countries manage to defeat lavishly funded superpower armies (e.g., against the Soviets/Russians in Afghanistan and Chechnya, the Israelis in Southern Lebanon, etc.), with application to the two U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, read my review/assessment of "Tactics of the Crescent Moon" in the book thread -- then read the book!

The link to the Holiday Books thread with the review:

Light Rail has been a solid infrastructure investment. Currently moves over 1 million riders per month of which that ridership number has been steadily climbing. The project promotes subsequent investment along the rail in neighborhoods that are already established. The Loop 202 extension is proposed at $1.9 Billion...a number higher than the original 20 mile Light Rail route.

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