High-speed rail is coming to California. The $68.4 billion project – most expensive public-works in U.S. history – will transport passengers at speeds up to 220 miles per hour between Los Angeles and San Francisco, making the 500-mile trip in 2 hours and 40 minutes. California voters in 2008 approved a ballot measure authorizing $9.95 billion general obligation bonds. At that time the estimated cost was $40 billion.
California’s San Joaquin Valley produces 25% of our nation’s table food using 1% of the nation’s land. Grapes – table, raisin and wine – cotton, nuts – especially almonds and pistachios – lettuce, citrus, tomatoes are among the more than 250 crops grown in the area. Pretty impressive for what is basically a desert. But it’s using up what water it has available.
I got hooked on Robert A. Caro when his first volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson was published in 1982. What I thought was going to be trilogy began with The Path to Power. I received it as a gift and was soon completely absorbed into it. Mr. Caro took me into the Hill Country of Texas, and made me feel what it was like to be a settler there and how that formed LBJ. The further I read the more I appreciated the painstaking research behind it.