There's been no shortage of skeptics as the California High-Speed Rail Authority has pushed forward on building its proposed project, but this week a new booster stepped forward.
Madera real estate developer Ed McIntyre told board members at a meeting Thursday that he and partners are ready to spend $1 billion developing a maintenance yard and more if the authority puts it on their property in Madera.
McIntyre told the board they're certain they can secure financing and recoup their investment through a lease-buy deal with the authority.
"Could you repeat that number?" Vice Chairwoman Lynn Schenk of San Diego asked him.
McIntyre caught the board's attention by dangling the prospect of private-sector investment something critics suggest has been lacking in the business plans for the $68.4 billion system.
McIntyre has been involved in deals to develop the University of California, Merced, and Children's Hospital Central California in Madera County.
So far, the rail authority has not decided where it would prefer to have the maintenance station, considered something of an economic golden goose by officials up and down the San Joaquin Valley.
><;MX| >MONEY WATCH
Today's the second day of the 15th annual Speaker's Cup, a two-day golf outing in Pebble Beach to raise money for the California Democratic Party. It's being presented by AT&T, which has sponsored the event for more than a decade. Tickets start at $25,000 and top out at $65,000. Those prices are even steeper than for the Pro Tem Cup at San Diego's Torrey Pines Golf Course in March.
"I have strong concerns about the recent actions by the federal government that threaten the safe access of medicinal marijuana to alleviate the suffering of patients in California."
NANCY PELOSI, House Democratic leader, in a statement this week criticizing the Obama administration's crackdown on dispensaries in the state
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