A little more regarding railway economics. When SP was running the Northwestern Pacific (its glory days) for every $10 they grossed, they had to spend $16 in maintenance and repair (source: Ray Hillman, local railway historian).
Back on 10/31/2012 under the thread "Seven Revelations from Rob Arkley" I posted -- FOR FREE-- the following:
"What will kill the E-W rail link won't be Steve's "prog enviro assholes" but plain old Republican-beloved economics. The cost of obtaining, constructing and maintaining the right of way will simply be too great compared to the profits to be derived from it. Let's look at per-mile cost: "to add an additional main line to an existing railroad is about $2 to $3 million per mile in 2008 (http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read…). Another estimate was $5 million/mile for restoration of an existing passenger line in NJ. Now these are existing, flatland lines. Distance from Fairhaven to Anderson via Korbel as straight lines is 107 mi. Including the need to foillow topography, the ground distance would probably be 130 -150 mi. At $5 million per mile for 130 mi that would be a cost of $650 million. And that DOESN'T include the cost of acquiring right of way, constructing in mountainous terrain, bridge-building, permitting etc. The cost of building the line could easily be $1 billion or more. Then there's cost of maintaining the line -- much of the area is very slide prone, and there's snow in winter too. Is there going to be sufficient return on this investment from possible logging and trans-shipping? Consider that despite running the NWP in the heyday of logging, Southern Pacific jettisoned it as soon as the federal government deregulated railroads. Why? Simply because the cost of maintaining the line was greater than the profit that could be made. Now if you can sucker the state or the federal government into ponying up the money to build the line (i.e., OUR money, not that of investors) then the economics (for the investors) might make more sense."
Perhaps I should have been a consultant...
One of my favorite Mark Twain quotes:
"First God made idiots. That was for practice. Then He made school boards."
Same thing holds for higher education boards of trustees: they listen to administrators and no one else, nodding their heads.
If you knew Tom Abate from his previous stay in Humboldt (and I only met him a few times), you would know that he is VERY New York/New Jersey: in-your-face, aggressive, confrontational, talkative. Just the opposite of laid-back Humboldt cool. Tom also was a caffeine fiend.
While I wasn't impressed by Tom's responses, I wasn't impressed by the interviewer either. His emphasis on personal stuff (e.g. "How did Hank react? Did his face go white?" "Why did you post a blog about your divorce?" etc) seemed to me to reflect the worst aspects of modern journalism: focusing on titillating gossipy stuff instead of dealing with the truly substantive issues. Sort of like rags you see at the supermarket checkout counter.
Tom could have dealt with these questions much better and adultly by simply saying "I don't want to discuss that", "I feel that's off-topic", or "That's really no one else's business."
I disagree that the money was wasted building the overpass. The Highway 101 - Highway 36 crossing was very dangerous, especially for folks trying to turn left onto 101 N from Sandy Prairie Road. I don't see why they couldn't have left an offramp from the southbound lanes for Hansen's however.
Bonnie was also defeated because Virginia Bass seems "nice" and "likable", and Bonnie seems neither of these. Voters respond to these perceptions, which have nothing to do with competence.
I'm puzzled by Dancing's 2:15 screed blaming Bonnie Neely and Kirk Girard for building decisions/restrictions. You want to improve your garage? To add a mother-in-law unit? Well, READ THE BUILDING CODE. It, not Kirk or Bonnie, specifies what's possible where, and how it has to be done.
I live in McKinleyville and a few years ago built a mother-in-law unit behind my house. I had no problems -- all I had to do was see what the code specifies about setbacks, location, utilities, etc. and design accordingly. The biggest slowdown was scheduling building inspections.
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