On April 13th, Del Mar Mayor Tracy Martinez and other local elected officials accompanied Rep. Mike Levin (CA-49) and Federal Railway Administration representative Amir Bose on a train trip to review the challenges posed by the Del Mar bluff erosion and the track subsidence in San Clemente that closed passenger rail service until April 17th. The importance of relocating both track sections inland was emphasized, and a federal grant of $4 million to begin planning for a 11-mile shift of the Orange County track was announced.
Hoping to stave off further erosion of our bluffs, the California Transportation Commission will give $37 million more to the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to erect ever more retaining walls, concrete columns and drainage upgrades. This Phase 5 of the ongoing efforts is scheduled to start late fall and take approximately three years and cost $78 million. More crumbles will cost more until the train is rerouted off the bluffs. No plan is yet in place.
That cost is estimated to be 4 billion with the goal of 2035.
The search is on for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Clean Energy Alliance (CEA) following the announcement that their first and only CEO, Barbara Boswell, will be retiring as soon as a replacement is found. Barbara resides in Santa Clarita, north of Los Angeles, and has been commuting to work for the last 5 years. The CEA Board had praise for her leadership at their March meeting, and a search committee headed by Board Chair David Druker was appointed. Barbara cited the rapid growth of CEA with the coming addition of Oceanside and Vista to the cities served, as well as her long commute, as the reasons for her decision.
The April Sandpiper issue contained an article by Sudeepto Roy on Artificial Intelligence (AI) that contained one paragraph generated by ChatGTP. Sandpiper readers were asked to guess which of the 4 paragraphs was AI-drafted. The correct answer was paragraph 3.