Thursday, November 24, 2022

BART seeks another $2.3b in federal funds for ca train

I like the BART but this is a phenomenal amount to pay for another small bit of it. I expect that a lot of the money will pour into associated personal pockets

They’re baaack! The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority is now asking for another $2.3 billion from the federal government to see high-speed trains running from San Francisco to San Jose as part of the already years-delayed, over budget Bay Area Rapid Transit project, according to The Mercury News.

The total cost of this section of California’s high-speed rail project has exploded to $9.3 billion, 35 percent higher than the last estimate of $6.9 billion and almost twice what it was estimated to cost in 2014, the Mercury News reported. And it’s unclear whether that $9.3 billion figure will go up again.

Santa Clara County residents have paid for some of the project by voting for tax hikes in 2000 and 2008, paying almost $3.2 billion from sales taxes and bridge tolls.

The Federal Transit Administration already committed $2.3 billion to the project but Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority officials want to shift the overrun burden to federal taxpayers, asking the federal agency to double its commitment to $4.6 billion by moving the project to a federal program called New Starts.

This would bring the project in by 2034, four years later than current projection of 2030.

Santa Clara officials say that they don’t know the actual cost or timeline of the project. A better estimate will come during a top-to-bottom “rebaselining” effort that could end in a lower or higher estimate, VTA General Manager Carolyn Gonot said in The Mercury News.

The Federal Transit Administration completed a risk review more than a year ago, when the estimate was $9.1 billion. But the Mercury News reported in July that the FTA “continues to be concerned that the project estimate is under-representing the total cost due in part to contingency, inflation, and an optimistic base schedule and risk profile.”


San Francisco's white election director is FIRED to promote 'racial equity' after serving the city for 20 years

Leftist racism has come roaring back after the Hitler debacle

San Francisco's election director, who has been in the position since 2002, will have his contract terminated in a move that 'wasn't about performance' but about 'racial equity'.

John Arntz, who is white, will be fired from his position next year, San Francisco's Elections Commission decided in a 4 to 2 decision last week.

The decision to get rid of Arntz was driven 'in large part by the city's plan for racial equity' - as the city strives towards making workplaces more diverse.

However, it was Arntz himself, as Department Director, who helped to establish such plans which have now ultimately cost him his job.

According to the Department of Elections' website, its Racial Equity Action Plan was 'developed through a collaboration' with Arntz.

City officials decided not to offer him a fifth five-year contract despite widespread praise from colleagues regarding his tenure as election director.

'It's hard to achieve diversity targets if senior roles never open up,' Cynthia Dai, a member of the commission, told the Washington Free Beacon.

'This has nothing to do with his performance,' said Dai, who voted against his renewal.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed came to Arntz's defense, telling Mission Local: 'John Arntz has served San Francisco with integrity, professionalism and has stayed completely independent.

'He's remained impartial and has avoided getting caught up in the web of City politics, which is what we are seeing now as a result of this unnecessary vote.

'Rather than working on key issues to recover and rebuild our City, this is a good example of unfair politicization of a key part of our government that is working well for the voters of this city.'

Arntz's contract will expire in May next year but he could still choose to reapply for the job. This will be the first time since 2002 that the Elections Commission chose not to renew the position in favor of conducting a search for new candidates.

As election director Arntz has been in charge of running the elections for the county and the city for 20 years. This move came just eight days after the November 8 midterm election.

City Attorney David Chiu said he was 'mystified' by the commission's decision, saying 'some folks have forgotten the history of this department.'

'Before Director Arntz, we had five directors in as many years, ballot boxes floating in the bay and an intense lack of confidence in city elections,' he told Mission Local.

Arntz was told in an email from the Commission's president Chris Jerdonek: 'Our decision wasn't about your performance, but after twenty years we wanted to take action on the City's racial equity plan and give people an opportunity to compete for a leadership position.'

In 2021, the Elections Commission wrote to the mayor that its elections were well run, saying: 'San Francisco runs one of the best elections in the country and we believe this transparent process has allowed us to continue to improve our elections.'

A year prior in 2020 it wrote Arntz a commendation for his 'incredible leadership'.

Division Manager Mayank Patel wrote an email to the department without Arntz's knowledge, Mission Local reported. It included a letter signed by 11 other division managers detailing why they supported his renewal.

'Under the leadership of Director Arntz, our Department successfully conducted over thirty public elections and rebuilt the public's confidence in the city's elections processes from the ground up,' wrote Patel.

Another official, District 2 supervisor Catherine Stefani, said on Twitter that the decision was 'a dereliction of the Commission's duty.'

If Arntz is still the most qualified candidate after a competitive search, Dai said he will have his contract renewed.

A rift has emerged in San Francisco between elected officials and unelected bureaucracies where progressive identity politics have advanced faster, according the Free Beacon.

It suggests that the city's 'racial equity plan' - which the Elections Commission cited to support their decision regarding Arntz - was created by the same elected officials that are now criticizing the decision not to renew him.

Board appointee Jerdonek, City Attorney appointee Dai, District Attorney's office appointee Robin Stone and Public Defender's office appointee Renita LiVolsi voted to not renew Arntz's contract.

Mayoral appointee Nancy Crowley and treasurer appointee Lucy Bernholz voted for him to stay.


'You're burning the wrong witch': LGBTQ writer apologizes to JK Rowling after spending three months researching the Harry Potter author but finding NO evidence she is transphobic

An LGBTQ activist has commended JK Rowling for her 'bravery' and told her followers that people are 'burning the wrong witch' after she was unable to find any evidence that the Harry Potter author is transphobic.

EJ Rosetta, a writer and columnist for HuffPost, who has been vocal herself over trans issues, said in a series of Tweets that JK Rowling 'is not an 'intolerable transphobe'', but stood up for women's rights when she could have sat back.

JK Rowling said she has long faced death and rape threats for her views on transgender issues, where she has called out the erosion of biological sex and the harm it can cause to women. Critical LGBTQ activists have dubbed the author a TERF, a trans-exclusionary radical feminist, and have repeatedly denounced her for her opinions.

The author's comments and tweets led Harry Potter stars Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson to distance themselves from the world's creator.

But LGBTQ writer EJ Rosetta is adamant that activists are 'burning the wrong witch'.

In the tread, EJ Rosetta wrote: 'Right, I'm done. 3 months ago, I was tasked with writing an article detailing '20 Transphobic JK Rowling Quotes We're Done With' After 12 weeks of reading her books, tweets, full essay & finding the context of these 'quotes', I've not found a single truly transphobic message.'

The columnist and writer for HuffPost concluded that JK Rowling is not 'an 'intolerable transphobe'' but a 'woman who could have sat back & been beloved forever' but chose to speak out on women's rights.

EJ Rosetta said, often, 'one groups rights are being sacrificed for the other, with the most vulnerable women often paying the price.' The HuffPost writer pointed towards the example of domestic violence shelters and praised JK Rowling for 'paying attention'.

The Harry Potter author was also commended for her 'bravery' for speaking out on the issue.

'3 months of dedicated research,' wrote EJ Rosetta, '& I cannot find a single truly transphobic JK Rowling quote that stands up against the scrutiny of journalistic integrity. The abuse JK has endured is beyond forgiveness. Every death threat, r*pe threat & torrent of abuse, she has born w/ grace.'

Rosetta concluded: 'You're burning the wrong witch. I stand with @jk_rowling.'

JK Rowling originally came under fire in June 2020 after retweeting an opinion article where she took issue with the term 'people who menstruate' instead of the publication saying 'women'.

The author Tweeted: 'People who menstruate.' I'm sure there used to be a word for those people. Someone help me out. Wumben? Wimpund? Woomud?'

She was also rebuked by LGBTQ activists in 2020 when she wrote: 'Erasing the concept of sex removes the ability of many to meaningfully discuss their lives. It isn't hate to speak the truth.'

She added: 'I respect every trans person's right to live any way that feels authentic and comfortable to them. I'd march with you if you were discriminated against on the basis of being trans. At the same time, my life has been shaped by being female. I do not believe it's hateful to say so.'

Since then, JK Rowling said she has faced death and rape threats for her outspoken views. Just last year, activists posted a photo of themselves outside the author's home holding a pro-trans sign. The author's address was clearly visible in the image.

Rowling accused the activists of trying to intimidate her and added that she has now received so many death threats that she could 'paper the house with them'.

Downing Street even got involved and criticized the targeting of JK Rowling by trans activists. Then Prime Minister Boris Johnson's official spokesman said in November 2021: 'I don't think any individual should be targeted in that way.

'We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect and that people are able to share their views as long as it is done in that fashion.'

EJ Rosetta said she herself identified as a 'recovered TERF'. The term is used to describe feminists who others believe trans rights are excluded from women's rights.

Since then, the HuffPost writer has said that trans rights need to be respected and called for equality. She also raised awareness for the high suicide rate of trans youth.

JK Rowling's comments led Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe to speak out following her Tweets in 2020 in a statement published through the Trevor Project, a suicide prevention charity for the LGBTQ community.

The actor said: 'I realize that certain press outlets will probably want to paint this as in-fighting between J.K. Rowling and myself, but that is really not what this is about, nor is it what's important right now. While Jo is unquestionably responsible for the course my life has taken, as someone who has been honored to work with and continues to contribute to The Trevor Project for the last decade, and just as a human being, I feel compelled to say something at this moment.'

The actor concluded: 'Transgender women are women. Any statement to the contrary erases the identity and dignity of transgender people and goes against all advice given by professional health care associations who have far more expertise on this subject matter than either Jo or I.'

Emma Watson also responded to JK Rowling's comments in June 2020. The Hermione Granger actress wrote: 'Trans people are who they say they are and deserve to live their lives without being constantly questioned or told they aren’t who they say they are.

'I want my trans followers to know that I and so many other people around the world see you, respect you and love you for who you are.'


This is the Walmart manager, 31, who shot six co-workers dead in 'planned' break-room massacre - as Virginia cops find 'death list' of names next to his body

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Andre Bing, 31, has been named by Walmart as the shooter in Tuesday night's attack in Chesapeake

Bing opened fire in the breakroom on Tuesday at 10.12pm as the night team gathered for their shift

He shot 10 people in total before killing himself; two of his victims were found dead in the breakroom with him

One of his victims was found dead at the store entrance and three others died in the hospital

Another four people who were shot remain in the hospital today and it's unclear if they will survive


Terrifying moment three Florida teens wake up to find Hispanic stranger lurking at the foot of their bed

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Raul Mora-Yanez, 25, was caught lurking in the cabin of three teenage girls who were at a father-daughter retreat at the Circle F dude ranch in Lake Wales

Mora-Yanez was unknown to the girls, but turned out to be a camp employee

He said he was drinking when he entered the cabin and thought it was empty

One of the girls recorded the incident unfold i'n case they were killed,' and can be heard in the video screeching as Mora-Yanez moved around

The dads of the girls were also called but didn't make it to the cabin in time until Mora-Yanez had fled in his alien hoodie

He was arrested but released days later on a $25,000 bond. He will appear back in court on December 13




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