Skinner: Passenger rail system story shouldn’t have been presented as journalism

Your Nov. 1 piece entitled, “Passenger rail system mulled over by transportation officials,” is a good example of what I and many others would call fake news.

It’s fake because it’s presented as news—as journalism—when in fact it appears to be a press release written by someone or some entity associated with the township of Queen Creek. Indeed I saw a duplicate of this piece on the official Town of Queen Creek website.

In any case, it’s full of superlatives regarding a proposed passenger rail system from Phoenix to Tucson with a stop in—you guessed it—the Town of Queen Creek.

It assures readers that there are absolutely no downsides to this plan whatsoever. A rail line running through your neighborhood, for example, won’t lower property values; it will raise them. Indeed, the article explains that an organization whose mission is to lobby for such things conducted a study which lays that matter to rest.

As I’ve had my fake news immunity booster shots this year, I’m nothing if not skeptical. I’m against this plan on the simple grounds that its primary purpose is to encourage growth and to force the many to subsidize the few who stand to benefit.

Like maybe land developers in Queen Creek who want to advertise cheap and easy rail-commuting options to Phoenix and Tucson. Or maybe town officials who hope to urbanize and acquire more tax revenue. Either way, it’s just another example of central planners having fun spending other people’s money.

Scott Skinner
Gold Canyon

Editor’s note: Thank you for the letter. For anyone who missed the article, it is on page 10 of the November 2018 issue of the Apache Junction/Gold Canyon Independent and can be read at

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