Executive Address – November 2012

It finally feels like it’s officially Fall!  Harvest is over and there is a fall in activity for many on our Board, the leaves are falling from the trees, gas prices are finally falling

And, Fall may bring the falling of the high speed rail and its acrid alignment through Madera County.

This month is a critical month for our pursuit of justice in the case against the California High Speed Rail Authority (CHSRA).  On November 16th, Judge Timothy Frawley of the Sacramento Superior Court will hear our request for a Preliminary Injunction against the CHSRA.  The overwhelming goal of the injunction is to put the brakes on a project that has been ill-conceived, poorly managed, and whose outcome is only abject harm to our County with no benefits or mitigation for the damages done in its wake.  Every day that goes by and this project remains unhindered causes more of our precious farm bureau members and County residents irrevocable harm to their business and operating plans, their futures in jeopardy.  Every day that goes by and the CHSRA isn’t stopped, the Authority interlopers attempt a new illegal technique for trespassing onto private property –causing damage to innocent livestock and time-honored farming and ranching functions.  Every day that goes by and I have to field another panic-stricken phone call from a property owner being violated by the Authority’s actions, my mind fills with indignation.  Each and every day that I have to receive another phone call from a farmer, not able to receive their regular operating loan for the upcoming planting season because they are the unwilling victims of the Authority’s mindless alignment –cause my heart to break.  None of these people asked for this project.  None of these people will benefit from this project.  This real life and real time movie theatre drama is something no businessman could every write into their business plan or plan for when building their homestead.  IT MUST END.

The Preliminary Injunction CAN do several things;

-It can stop the project at least until our CEQA case can be heard and decided on in April 2013,

-It can stop illegal surveying activities, trespassing, and damage to private property,

-It can stop the CHSRA from receiving bids for this section of the Project (Merced to Fresno),

-It can provide a solid path for the Court decision on the CEQA case

The Preliminary Injunction CANNOT do other things;

-It will not apply to any other section of the Project –specifically, from Fresno to Bakersfield,

-It cannot dictate where the alignment will be placed,

-It cannot stop the project entirely or indefinitely

We will be providing updates to those on MCFB’s contact list, which if you’re not on already –please call the office or email us today ( office@maderafb.com ).  As soon as Judge Frawley makes a determination on this request –we will be sending out an update.

Please don’t hesitate to contact the office if you have any questions –we’re always happy to hear from you!  Happy Holidays and Happy Fall!

Anja K. Raudabaugh
Executive Director