Sunday , February 25 2024

High-speed rail could transform Fresno’s poorest neighborhood. Will Trump get on the train?

The plan: cover one of the most destitute tracts of California’s poorest major city with a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course and watch dust turn to dollars. But soon, funding for the project known as Running Horse evaporated. Debt ballooned. Across the continent, Donald Trump smelled opportunity. He wooed city officials, and talked big — really big — about how he’d save Running Horse, schedule a PGA Tour event and transform Southwest Fresno right along with it. “I have a feeling I can make this the hot side of town,” Trump declared in June 2007 several days after he toured the future golfing grounds, local politicians in tow. Neighborhood residents — many impoverished — fantasized about new businesses and low crime and Tiger Woods spottings, to say nothing of a billionaire’s imprimatur stamped across their blighted blocks. Chief among the smitten: then-Fresno Mayor Alan Autry. “He loves this community,” Autry, a Republican, said of Trump at the time. “There’s something about this
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