We all should congratulate state Sen. Michael Rubio for his courage and vision for our future. High-speed rail is going to be needed shortly in the Central Valley as our population continues to grow. I realize it's hard to imagine what the valley is going to look like in 10, 20 or 30 years, but changes are coming and they can be surprising. This past year, I visited the San Francisco peninsula where I grew up and was shocked at all the changes -- it was truly amazing.

Dan Richard, chairman of the California High-Speed Rail Authority, has stated that the Bay Area Rapid Transit system was denounced and fought over when it was first proposed years ago. Now those residents are proud and delighted with its service.

One thing to remember is that the widening of Highway 99 and Interstate 5 through the valley will be extremely expensive. Either way, it will cost the state large sums of money. The rail system will get cars off the road and help our air quality. It's a win-win!