California High Speed Rail Passes Through Fresno

Aug 30

California High Speed Rail Passes Through Fresno


A project that many in Central California have banked on for financial recovery from a recession that is going into its fifth year, is at risk.

California’s high speed rail project has been criticized by many people. Some have called it financially unfeasible. Outside panels have called for termination of the project.

They have cited the high cost and current budget woes as the reason to pull the plug on the ambitious project that is intended to link Southern California with Northern California. Along the route, Fresno and Bakersfield will be linked with the major metropolitan centers of California.

Growing Population

By 2025 California is forecasted to have 48 million residents. Easily exceeding the bottom 15 states of the United States in terms of population, combined. Currently California has at least 12 million more residents than the number two state in the union, Texas. It is expected that California will add 11 million more residents by 2025.

Despite the massive population of California, the eastern seaboard has seen the most investment in trains. On the east coast, Amtrak operates routes that run several times per hour. On the West Coast Amtrak’s trains run a few times a day or once a day, with fewer cities and stops along the way.

There has long been controversy over the disparity of Amtrak coverage. The eastern seaboard routes include more stops and more frequent trains. Suitable for commuters while the mid-west and the west coast receive coverage more suitable for people traveling long distances. Amtrak has long been subsidized by United States taxes,

California High Speed Rail

The plan for California high speed rail is to link Los Angeles with the Bay Area and Sacramento. Along the way, Bakersfield and Fresno would be on the backbone of the route.
In fact the current plan calls for construction to begin on the Fresno to Bakersfield portion of the route. The San Joaquin Valley has high hopes for California’s high speed rail. The construction jobs and subsequent maintenance jobs may turn around the economy of this historically depressed portion of the state. With unemployment rates in double digits, it is not uncommon for Fresno to have 14% unemployment, a multi-billion dollar project like California High Speed rail is a potential dream come true.

The relatively high paying construction jobs will be followed by the high paying maintenance jobs based out of Fresno if the project locates it’s maintenance facilities near Fresno.

Environmental Impact of California High Speed Rail

Another promise of high speed rail is improved sustainability and a lower environmental impact for California’s agriculture industry. It has been reported that for each high speed rail track running north and south, six lanes of freeway would be needed to accommodate the vehicle traffic. Therefore two high speed tracks in both directions would eliminate the need for 24 lanes of freeway.

A freeway that spans twenty four lanes is no small project. The amount of land it would consume is nothing to ignore either. Particularly when you consider that the land being consumed is some of the most productive farmland in the world. However it that farmland that some farmers said they are fighting for when they oppose the current planned route of the high speed rail project.

highspeedMany farmers have said that any route that connects Bakersfield and Fresno will take up too much farmland when the project can run along the valley’s western edge where farming is minimal or nonexistent. The alternate route would run along California’s I-5 interstate highway which utilizes a more direct route from Southern California to the Bay Area.

The problem with the shorter route is that it would eliminate Fresno from the system. With more than two million people in and around the Central San Joaquin Valley, there will be a massive portion of the state that is not served by high speed rail. Another problem with using the I-5 corridor is the approach to San Francisco.

The shorter approach to San Francisco, which is the current plan, utilizes elevated tracks running up the Southern San Francisco peninsula. Environmental groups and activists have argued that this will bring blight and urban sprawl to the area. The alternative is to use an approach that comes from the east, through Livermore and Dublin. This approach would pass through more densely populated neighborhoods and provide access to high speed rail to more people.

A National Vision

The plan for the United State’s high speed rail is to connect the East coast with the West coast using four east to west coast routes. One southern route, two central routes and one northern route. As the picture above shows all of the major metropolitan areas will eventually be connected.

While it is true that long term funding is at risk, it is very short sighted to terminate a program that will impact the future of the United States and California in particular. You have to ask the question, what if the United States had chosen to save money in the fifties and never built the interstate highway system?

High-Speed rail is a visionary project that all Americans should support. Republican’s concerned with business opportunities should support the project because of the potential commercial benefits of higher mobility and mobile labor forces that could travel from rural areas to urban areas and provide cheap labor. Liberals should support the project because of the equality benefit of a mobile workforce, eliminating the manipulation of oppressed labor.

Public Support of High Speed Rail will ultimately determine it’s success

At the end of the day, public support of this vision will be the deciding factor. If the public embraces the project, the politicians will follow. If the public allows the politicians to grand stand and claim that they are looking after their constituents best interests, the the project is doomed to fail.

If you support United States future and the prosperity of future generations, then you should support California’s high speed rail projects.

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Food Fest

Jul 22

Food Fest

Loyal readers of Fresno Urban know I love food. There are certain times of the year I look forward to more then any other and August starts it all off. Put it on your calendar right now, a colossus culinary couple of days is on the horizon.  Beginning August 25, residents of the San Joaquin Valley will have not one, but two great food and entertainment options for the weekend.I plan to eat ribs until I am full then I will go back for some pulled pork. Then I will get over to the Greek Food Fest and eat lamb, chicken and moussaka then I will wash it down with some ouzo.


August 25-28 at Eaton Plaza BBQ and Fun Fest, we missed out last year and are very happy that it is being brought back this year. Being from the south I know BBQ and always look forward to trying new styles. There is something for everyone from a kids play area to movies in the park and a car show and lets not forget the BBQ. Admission to the BBQ Fun Fest on Eaton Plaza is free.

BBQ Cook Off

Professional grille-rs will compete for the best Ribs and the best pulled pork. Last year Porky ‘n’ Beans won for best pulled pork with sweet and smoky pulled pork. There will be teams from across the United States as well as teams representing Jamaica and Australia.

There will be rib eating contest on Friday at 7pm and on Saturday at 7pm. One hundred people can purchase VIP access which includes all you can eat BBQ with no waiting in line.

The action starts on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. with a lunch special and goes through until 7pm on Sunday. Since this event is going to be going for four days, you can easily grab some BBQ here and still make it to the Greek Food Festival.

You can find more info at BBQ Fun Fest.

August 26-28 at Saint George’s is the 51st Annual Greek Fest, Last year they enlarged the venue and added a huge area for kids with slides bounce houses and games. Admission is $5 however children under 12 and seniors get in for free.Like most Fresno residents we had heard  of the Fresno Greek Fest for years. The first time we attended the food festival was a few years ago. Our good friend, Jon Gamoian had been telling us that he goes to the festival every year and he would never miss it. We are glad that we took Jon’s advice because we had a great time. Now we never schedule anything for the third week of August because we know that we will be at the Greek Food Festival.

We brought Hunter last year and he had a lot of fun on the slides. There were at least six different large slides and bounce houses. Hunter had a great time and he slept like a baby after bouncing around for a couple of hours.

Best Greek Food Outside of Greece

This year new food choices include roast lamb dinners, Greek calamari and ouzo snow cones. Friday lunch service offers drive-thru or walk-in takeout for $10 (pistitsio, veggies, Greek salad, bread and butter) from 11 AM – 2 PM (please call ahead to order). Entertainment will be provided by the popular Greek band, The Olympians, from Long Beach, along with Greek dancing demonstrations. If you go to the festival, don’t be shy. Get out there and dance it is good exercise and fun.

The Greek Food Fest is brought to Fresno by St. George’s Church. The festival has been held on the third weekend in August for last fifty years. Thousands of people attend the festival every year with some years bringing more than 15,000 people to enjoy Greek Food and culture.

Shop For Greek Merchandise

One of the things I like to do at the festival is to browse the merchants who have crafts and art for sale. Some of the merchants sell traditional Greek food supplies and imported Greek food staples. Some of the things sold at the festival cannot be purchased from any store within a two hundred mile radius.

If you want some of this delicious Greek Food on Friday, you can order ahead and drive by to pick your food between 11am and 2pm.

New Greek backdrops and people dressed in traditional costumes will add flavor for a true Greek experience. You can get more info at Fresno Greek Fest.

I hope to see you all out at these events and eating as much as me…

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Where to Charge my Phone

Dec 18

The Mice Cube humane mouse trap is a live catching animal trap. It is a humane live no-kill mouse trap. It is safe, clean, silent and re-usable. It utilizes a catch and release mechanism where once the mouse enables the trigger, the trap closes and the mice is stuck inside. If you provide enough bait, the mouse will even have food for a day or two. This trap weights one pound. It is composed of a free-swinging door with tiny holes in it to let the smell of the bait entice the mouse to enter. Once the mouse enters the door, it is closed by gravity and mouse is stuck.

These cubes are very small and only take up about two inches by two inches by six inches. They got into my cell phone charging station one time, so I had to get one of these cubes. To use it, place a cracker with peanut butter on it at the very end of the trap. For better results, spread a thin layer of peanut butter on the swinging door and wipe any excess so the scent remains and the door can swing freely. Then place the trap along the path of the mouse or near any mice dropping. All you need to do is check the trap once a day and release your mouse outside.

Don’t let the simplicity of the trap make you think they are not good. Their small size enables them to be placed anywhere including drawers or other tight spaces. To clean just soak them in a mild bleach solution. If you do have issues, they are probably due to releasing the mice too close to our property.

The Green Bottle USA humane mouse trap is a device that turns an ordinary plastic bottle into a mouse trap. This trap does not use poisons, sticky pads or other devices that may cause damage to the mouse. This is safe around pets and people and it will not kill the mouse.  It is a very small product with dimensions of three inches by two and a half inches by 4 inches and it weighs 3.2 ounces.  This is a device that has a screw in for a plastic bottle. It very green in that it reuses bottles that will normally be recycled. This trap gives bottles and mice a second chance.

All you have to do is place some peanut or peanut butter inside the bottle as bait and attach the cheese entrance that you bought. The mice go in through the cheese entry and can’t leave through it. Once you catch the mouse, you can take it outside and dispose of it. Be careful to dispose of the mouse far away from your house so it does not come back.

The positive to this trap is that you never ever have to clean the container. You can recycle the bottle after a few uses as they get dirty and nasty pretty fast from mouse poop.  Some advice to make sure your mouse does not die is to poke some holes into the bottle so the mouse can breathe. If you are looking for a trap that works great and requires little maintenance, this humane mouse trap will fit your needs perfectly.

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Do You Make These Mistakes? Big Bang Theory Penny

Nov 18

Do You Make These Mistakes? Big Bang Theory Penny

Residence audio. Just very good ol fashioned house music. A clean groove, a catchy hook, and turning a rigid nose away from gimmicks of the day. No drunk-dumb stomp, white sounds wash, fart-squirt bass, skank-ass screech, navel-lint glitch, or everything else like that. Just great ol fashioned home songs.

That stated, the initial CD really is a bit of a mess. Oh, it starts off out wonderful, using in some laidback vibes for a great, chill start off nevertheless, if the vocal mash-up of Soeheniona with Toscas Joe Si Ha is off-placing for you, you might as effectively skip the rest, as there are rougher types down the road. Prior to that though, we get a great build-up of ominous nominal-tech, peaking out with an impressed combine of his very own operatic Altre Voci, Glimpses Prepare To Austria, and The Fields In excess of The Ice. And man, you gotta adore the truth he makes use of a stay recording of the latter, giving the peak just that extra little bit of vitality as you hear the crowd cheering.

Anyhow, acquiring to the process at hand: Agoria. Born Sebastien Devaud, the guy deejayed and introduced a variety of singles during the 00s before obtaining a main split with At The Controls, a DJ combine series that grew in prominence at the identical time as Harmony did (yet again, many thanks to James Holden), but folded soon soon after Agorias giving. Uh oh might this be an evil omen? Ah, heh, not most likely, because it was thanks to the conclude of big bang cast 2013 that noticed At The Controls demise. Still, early excitement on this release did have some purple flags flaring up. Soon after all, just how many of these ultra-eclectic sets can we sit through just before a person overreaches?

This totally free compilation from Echodub definitely is that, a label which has skewed far more favorably in direction of the blissy facet of grimey beats. Not material to basically be a showcase of their possess artists, Echodub has instead rounded up a bunch of unknowns and refreshing faces to the table: Box Mouse, Lojik, Vandera, and much more.

We run via a number of chill-out kinds for a excellent chunk of this digi-comps center, each and every tune giving anything exclusive, if not exactly new. Back again Property has a little bit of an Ibizan flavor, Prover arrives off like a b-side to Burials album Untrue, All Soaked sounds like it could have also been showcased on an Ultimae launch, while Journey To Luca channels IDM wonk. These are all fine for the most element, excellent chill-out fodder for a compilation of this type.

So why just a mere 7/10 then? Oh, you know: absolutely nothing truly fresh right here, it is even now mainly just tech-residence, and many others. Clearly, supporters of this genre are likely to love the album, and even relaxed connoisseurs will enjoy it (*cough*).

Yet dance musics discography is crammed with possibilities for this genre, and although Juncaj brings simple top quality, so do numerous other individuals. Galactic Caravan is a fantastic choose-up if you are in require of a small more groove in your existence, just not an instantly required a single.

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Pharmaceutical Marketing in Fresno

Nov 13

Pharmaceutical Marketing in Fresno

One of the most powerful methods that I’ve used to create a loyal customer base and great relationships with my clients and prospects over the years is through live seminars! There’s no marketing tactic more effective than meeting and speaking to your prospects and customers belly-to-belly, face-to-face in a live environment.

adderallWith that said, there are two big obstacles many of you face putting on your own live seminars: The first obstacle is that you might not know how to fill your room or put “butts in seats” as they say in the industry. It’s one thing to hold a live seminar and another thing all together trying to get experts to come to San Francisco. Doctor Hyer is a great surgeon. He specializes in cosmetic surgery and his patients always have rave reviews on his procedures.

Especially in this economy. The second obstacle you probably face is what to do when you hold your seminar. By that I mean, what should your agenda be, how do you set up your room, when and where is the best place to hold it and the list goes on.

But let me ask you a question – what would your business be like if you really knew how to market and sell yourself and your business through live seminars?

We’ve brought together the biggest names in seminar marketing so you can achieve the success you deserve. Learn from their expertise and experience on how to grow your business to new heights. Learn the little know secrets to create unstoppable business growth. Discover their proven techniques for tapping into the revenue stream that will put your business over the top here.

Whether your business is online or offline, you CANNOT afford to miss this unique opportunity to learn from the best. Never before have so many experts been assembled at one time for just one purpose…showing you how to generate more business through the awesome power of seminar marketing.

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Beautiful Weekend Get-Away

Nov 08

Beautiful Weekend Get-Away

This past weekend started early with Veterans Day on Friday we had our son and knew that the weather was supposed to be bad. So what to do spend three days inside playing the X-box and streaming movies from Netflix. No No No not us that would just not do more because I am not ready yet for the holidays and well I still have warm weather on the brain. Earlier in the week Dan and I had discussed where and what we where going to do the idea of the coast came up and the usual weekend in San Francisco.

We kept looking at the weather all over the state to see where we could go and not be cold and wet. On Thursday no closer to a decision on where to go I headed to Chowchilla to pick up our son for the weekend. On our way back into Fresno we called Dan to see if he had any ideas and he said he was leaning towards Monterrey. Hunter and I both liked that idea so when we got home Hunter played the X-box and Dan and I packed and got a room for our first night there. (Dan had a feeling we could get a deal on a better room for cheap due to the weather.)

table saw reviews

Friday morning we all got up early and packed up the car, or I should say we got up and Hunter played X-box Dan worked on something ( email…) and I loaded the car up and got travel coffee ready. As we where about to leave I looked over to our couch and realized I had forgot to call the pet-sitter. The look in my boys eyes was well enough to make Dan call the Hotel to see if they allowed pets, Thankfully they did so off we went. The drive was so much fun in the rain and took a little longer then normal. After several stops we finally got to our first hotel for the weekend.

Our first hotel was Comfort Inn Monterrey Bay the price for two rooms was great and the staff was very nice. We unpacked and walked the dogs as we explored the property Hunter was supper happy to find not one but two hot tubs and his all time favorite a dry sauna. Hunter and Dan took off to go explore and I chilled in the room with our dogs for a bit. When the guys got back they told me how they walked up the street and bought swim suites for everyone so we could get in the hot tubs we made using 52 degrees and kinda rainy perfect weather for hot tubing.)  After several trips to the dry sauna and hot tub everyone was hungry so we held a vote and El Torito on Cannery Row won out by the majority vote holder (hunter). After dinner we headed back to the hotel the guys headed off to the sauna and hot tub and I walked the dogs and then hung out in our room the rest of the night. I always take it easy the first night and hey I love free HBO…

Saturday morning I want to say it was about 7am I heard the neighbor’s loud table saw rev up. Who does work this early? I wasn’t prepared to get up yet but it’s time to get going.

Hunter and I started to get a bit bored after an hour or so so we decided to wake Dan up so we could start the day. After much discussion we decided to hit Cannery Row and see what was going on.

We hit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Hunter and I went through while Dan walked around with the dogs.  The Aquarium was fun and packed the weather was so nice Hunter and I hit the third level on our tour and walked out on the observation deck the view was so cool you could see for miles. The exhibits at the Aquarium where very cool we saw some very cool Jelly Fish and Sea Horses. We walked around for about an hour and saw everything we could before Hunter was ready to be done and go eat. We all met back at our car to find we had gotten a $35 parking ticket.. Not a happy moment. At this point it was almost 3pm and I was ready to get to our new room get settled in and then hit the beach with the dogs.

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Riding the bus

Oct 28

Riding the bus

Public transportation, specifically the bus, has been pretty foreign to me. For the last 15 years, I have driven almost everyplace I went. In fact, lately I have been loaning out some of my vehicles so I have been getting by with two vehicles instead of the four vehicles that I usually use. I guess we all have our sacrifices, but today the situation arose that I have been dreading for a while. I was left with only two choices walk about 3/4 of a mile or ride the bus.

I decided to be brave and take the bus, or maybe I decided to be lazy, either way I had a little adventure. The moment I decided to take the bus, I thought ‘how hard could this be?’ I’m at the courthouse. The courthouse happens to be one of the hubs for Fresno Area Express, or FAX. I thought, I will just walk over there and get on a bus and I will get off in front of my complex. I happen to know that there is a stop in front of the complex because occasionally I see crazy people sitting at the bus stop.

And that is when it occurred to me, if crazy people sit at the bus stop, some of them might get on a bus or two and I just might have to ride on the bus with one of those crazy people. I stayed the course and continued walking towards the side of the courthouse where I have seen buses picking up passengers everyday for the last five years or so.

As I approached the buses, it occurred to me that I needed to know which bus I needed to get on and even more, when would that particular bus get here? This isn’t a problem, I have a smartphone with internet access, I have a tablet device powered by Android and internet access, and worst case scenario, I might be able to find a route map near the benches or something. I think I got this….

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Sep 29


Some time ago we mentioned an event being held by CCLUCK, which stands for Central California Local Urban Chicken Keepers. CCLUCK for short.

Rachel from CCLUCK contacted Fresno Urban right away. Rachel offered to answer any questions we had about the organization.

We at Fresno Urban support the ideals of CCLUCK and wanted to spread the word about an excellent cause. Unfortunately, I got busy with some pending obligations and did not jump on the story. However late is better than never, so here is some information about CCLUK.

CCLUK supports the keeping of chickens within city limits. Currently chickens, even one chicken cannot be kept within the City of Fresno without a minimum of five acres of land and 100 foot set back. CCLUK hopes to change the current ordinances to ordinances that permit the keeping of chickens within the city and manages the concerns of neighbors, chicken keepers and all interested parties.

We at Fresno Urban support CCLUK’s efforts and mission. Humans have been living with chickens in our villages and towns for thousands of years. Chickens were first domesticated about 8,000 years ago in Asia. A direct descendant of the Red Junglefowl, a bird native to Asia and still found in Asia today.

Although they were first domesticated 8,000 years ago, most of our modern domesticated chickens are descendants of a development to the breed that took place about 4,500 years ago in what is now Pakistan. From the Pakistan area in 2,500 B.C. chickens were brought east to the Roman Empire. The Romans loved chickens, the breeding and keeping of chickens increased dramatically from 1,000 B.C. to 100 B.C.

In Europe chickens were an integral part development. Chickens span the gap of civilization building between farming and nomadic hunting. Chickens allowed people to farm the land and gather fruits and berries, while also having a regular source of protein without having to go on extended hunting trips.

Some would argue that chickens made large cities possible because people could not live close enough together if every family had a herd of cows or even pigs. Chickens only require about 100 square feet or less.

In the last 75 years, the way chickens are raised has changed dramatically. The vast majority of families do not have chickens around for to produce eggs and meat. Instead the business of raising chickens has been taken over by massive companies that have bred chickens to grow fast and become fat very quickly.

This has been accomplished with selective breeding, hormones, and “special food” sometimes referred to as “hot mash.” Hot mash is intended to keep the chicken eating around the clock so they can grow to maximum size in the minimum amount of time.

With intensive chicken farming, each bird is allotted a space that is approximately 9″ by 9″. Chickens at the intensive farming operations are usually slaughtered around six weeks. (They are forced to develop so fast that if they were allowed to continue growing many of them would break their legs because they cannot handle the weight of their body.) Organically farmed chickens are usually slaughtered around 12 weeks.

The best way to get quality chicken eggs and meat today is to raise the chickens yourself. Unfortunately that cannot be done in Fresno by most people. Fresno needs to change the ordinance, there is no reason that a responsible chicken owner cannot raise chickens without bothering the neighbors. On my farm I couldn’t afford to go to the gym, so I did workouts by myself, i had this pull up bar which I used to whip myself into shape. And It absolutely did. After 3 months, the results speak for themselves.

I grew up on a farm near Yosemite. One of my chores growing up was to collect the chicken eggs and feed the chickens. As mush as I dreaded hearing that rooster in the morning because it meant that I had to get up and tend to those chickens, now I miss the sounds of the roosters in the morning.

As the roosters wake up and welcome a new day by crowing, I am reminded of growing up on the farm. Roosters have the right idea, instead of dreading a new day they call out and welcome each new day. We need more of that.

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