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Blame Gov. Newsom’s loose lips for Trump’s decision to claw back federal bullet train funding

Blame Gov. Newsom’s loose lips for Trump’s decision to claw back federal bullet train funding
Gov. Gavin Newsom delivers his first State of the State address at the Capitol building in Sacramento on Feb. 12. (John G. Mabanglo / EPA/Shutterstock)

To the editor: Gov. Gavin Newsom could have scaled back California’s high-speed rail project on his own terms by waiting to announce a new business plan. Instead, he caused an immediate implosion of the project with his premature half-baked announcement at his State of the State speech on Feb. 12.

Newsom has further discredited himself by claiming that President Trump’s demand to take federal money back is retribution for California’s lawsuit over the border wall emergency declaration. Actually, Trump asked for the money back in a tweet immediately following Newsom’s speech, before the lawsuit.

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Now a new business plan may be moot. Newsom has lost control of the project because of his loose words.

William Goldman, Palos Verdes Estates

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To the editor: I was a supporter of the bullet train until I realized I may never be able to ride it in my lifetime. Now I’m ambivalent, although I still understand the need for it.

Those who lose sight of what high-speed rail can do for California live in a short-term world. The project does much more than just opens the door to high-speed travel between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The densities and high costs of living in these cities are at the brink. The development of communities along these railways will allow people to live in outlying cities and commute to work. The train will ultimately pay for itself with the revenue it creates through these developments.

Yes, this may take years, but nothing great is ever built quickly. Former Gov. Jerry Brown knew this; hopefully our new governor does too and will focus on building something great that will serve California long into the future.

Bernard Lax, Beverly Hills

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To the editor: It appears that the return on the investment for a north-south bullet train would be abysmal.

Now, if you want a bullet train everyone can get behind, start with a huge parking lot near Interstate 15 on the Nevada border. Lease space there to private bus companies and ride-sharing companies.

Then, start your bullet train somewhere in Orange or Los Angeles county and have it terminate at that parking lot. I’ll bet you could get Nevada to help fund the thing.

Jack Berkus, Laguna Niguel

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