Ballpark EIR due soon + BART fed money update + Conspiracy Theory
A quick look at the SJ Redevelopment Ballpark page shows that the next Good Neighbor session is on Wednesday, February 17.
Topic: Ballpark Supplemental Environmental Impact Report
That indicates that the EIR will be out for review shortly before that. Normal rules dictate that something like this needs to be released at least 72 hours prior to a study session or meeting, and City, like many other government entities, often releases documents at the end of the day Friday. My guess, then, is that we’ll see the draft EIR late Friday, February 12. A 45-day review period would be expected to happen next (with public comments), followed by a series of steps leading to certification of the document.
Earlier today, the FTA officially did a 180 and declared the BART-to-Silicon Valley project eligible for up to $900 million in so-called matching funds. Without that crucial source of money, there is no way the extension could be built. Of course, there is a catch. In order to put itself in the position to get the ruling changed, VTA (which is running the project) split the extension into two parts: Warm Springs to Berryessa (North San Jose), and Berryessa to Santa Clara through Downtown San Jose. The latter piece is easily the most expensive and hardest to justify. There is no current timetable for the final extension.
Even if BART schedule arrives on schedule to Berryessa in 2018, it will terminate 3+ miles northeast of the Diridon South ballpark site. There will be a way to transfer from BART to VTA light rail in Milpitas at the Great Mall, hopefully there’ll be a way to run express ballpark trains at that point. It’s not the only BART-to-light rail transfer in the Bay Area, as that’s already common practice with MUNI Metro and soon the eBART extension from Pittsburg/Bay Point to Antioch.
Finally, the Merc’s Giants beat writer, Andrew Baggarly, poses the idea that in playing hardball with Tim Lincecum, the Giants are trying to curry favor with the owners in hopes of getting their votes on a San Jose move – as long as they keep Timmy’s 2010 salary under $10 million. I instantly regretted reading the blog entry when I finished it, but I figured some might comment here on it so here goes nothing.
Gentle reader, if you honestly believe this nonsense, you probably also believe an inside straight is a good play. Because that’s exactly what the Giants are trying to get here, an inside straight. They’ve offered a ridiculous $8 million and Lincecum’s agent wants $13 million, much less than what many in the media were proposing for the half-Pinoy phenom. The two parties are headed for a collision course in arbitration, and the Giants are hoping that something, anything might fill that awful inside straight they’re trying to get. It’s not happening. Surely, the great litigator and negotiator Bill Neukom must have some sense of this, right? How about a more Occam’s razor type of explanation:
The Giants are being cheap.
It’s the classic case of throwing good money after multiple cases of bad money. I don’t blame them, since they are shelling out $40 million to Zito, Rowand, and Renteria this season. Sure, penalize the face of your franchise for your past sins. Brilliant moves as usual.