In his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom all but ended plans for a high-speed rail line connecting San Francisco to Los Angeles.
“There simply isn’t a path to get from Sacramento to San Diego, let alone from San Francisco to L.A,” Newsom said. “I wish there were.”
Instead, the governor will focus on the portion of the line that is already in the works — Merced to Bakersfield.
So what happens to the empty concrete box below the Transbay Transit Center, intended for that S.F. to L.A. connection? Supporters say they will push forward with getting the funding to make the project a reality, but others, like Newsom, are focused on slightly more practical — if still giant — projects.
“Our responsibility has always been connecting Santa Clara County to downtown San Francisco by bringing Caltrain to the Transbay terminal, and we will continue to do that with zeal,” Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who chairs the county Transportation Authority board, tells reporter Rachel Swan.
“Otherwise, we will have built the most expensive bus terminal in the history of humankind.”
Top of the News
• Caltrans cleanup: The Bay Area’s water quality board is ordering Caltrans to clean up their act or start paying fines, saying it has failed to make progress against the heaps of garbage regularly strewn across roadways that end up in the Bay. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has urged the water board to make Caltrans clean up garbage over a wider area, sooner.
• Ferry and waffles: After a long wait, a streamlined version of Tanya Holland’s Brown Sugar Kitchen has opened inside San Francisco’s Ferry building. Food writer Justin Phillips has five things you need to know about the new soul food outpost.
• Biz chief: The San Francisco Chamber of Commerce has a new chief executive – Rodney Fong. He’s the third head of the business organization in three years after his predecessor resigned abruptly in October. Fong has served on the port and planning commissions and has deep ties to the city — he’s a fourth-generation San Franciscan.
• Cloudy year: Solar jobs in California were down 11 percent in 2018, the second year of decline. Solar jobs declined around the country — largely attributed to uncertainty caused by tariffs imposed by the Trump administration — but California was particularly hard hit. Solar advocates and experts aren’t worried yet about the long term.
• Bill forward: A congressional deal to avert another shutdown is still fragile but it does not include $9 billion that California is seeking for wildfire relief. California politicians tell reporter Tal Kopan they’re confident that will become part of a separate disaster relief bill. More: Joshua Tree and Death Valley national parks would grow under a Senate-passed bill.
• Special ‘tales’: The first two episodes of “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City,” the Netflix sequel to the newspaper and TV serial, will make its world premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April. Maupin and its star, Laura Linney, will be on hand for a post-screening interview.
• Repair on pause: Among the first things to be affected by Tuesday-night-into-Wednesday morning’s intense atmospheric river storm is the repair to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, which has now been delayed a week. More: “We are expecting flooding from this pretty much everywhere,” a National Weather Service meteorologist says.
• Harper watch: Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner has joined the chorus of Giants who lobbied for Bryce Harper to join the team, saying he would be a “huge addition.” But we can still win without him, Bumgarner said.
• Double shift: How does a theater actor afford living in the Bay Area? On the Datebook podcast, theater critic Lily Janiak interviews actor Caleb Cabrera about recent stage roles — and his second line of work — pedicab driver.
• Donation transparency: San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar has introduced a measure that would put campaign finance disclosure rules up for a vote in the November ballot — and it has eight co-sponsors.
The neighborhood around it has changed, but inside the Lone Palm, it might as well be the ’90s — or even the ’40s. Past the awning with its neon sign, through the black curtain, you’ll find a safe haven from the real world and a veritable playground for anachronists.
In this week’s Drink Up column, Emma Silvers profiles the Mission District bar that shows what it takes to keep a bar that’s classic but not mired in nostalgia.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Bay-Briefing-Gov-Newsom-s-got-a-train-to-13612356.php.