For those of you who attended the membership meeting, you already know that the power and intelligence of steward leadership is both inspiring and driving results. Thank you to Doug Noll for your compelling presentation. You have taken a difficult concept to the ground and are advancing a project that will have lasting impact on our community—The Fresno Restoration Center. Thanks also to Pete Weber, Doug Noll, Dr. John Welty for your candid, challenging and practical comments during the follow-up panel. All of you have done more to serve our community, region and state than most will ever understand. Finally, that you Scott Rhodes for your thoughtful facilitation of the panel and dialogue. As you underscored, it is not the meetings that make change happen, it is the ongoing conversations and action steps in between.
As for conversations, there is an dangling conversation that will continue in CA for years regarding High Speed Rail. I was fortunate to hear Dan Richard provide an update today. Some comments grabbed attention.
• The CA Water Project passed by 1 vote. Governor Pat Brown declared now we are now one CA! Mr. Richard that today we are not split north and south. We are split coastal and inland—the inland areas have been left behind. HSR passed by 1 vote. Perhaps many of the legislators had not yet realized that the SJV is the heart and backbone of the state—essential to any thriving enterprise.
• HSR is not an isolated project. It is intended to be part of a collaborative transportation network that leverages current and future investments to move people and goods around the state with as little environmental impact as possible.
• China is no longer able to feed itself because it has urbanized so many agricultural areas. 15 countries have HSR. Japan began building their bullet trains in 1964 and are continuing to do so.
• What if it works? What would happen in Fresno—that is the lingering conversation, so rich with possibilities.