To do: Wednesday, Oct. 24

High-speed rail recommendations: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission is scheduled to vote this morning on a committee recommendation for a dual-route high-speed rail system connecting the Bay Area and Southern California. The meeting starts at 10:05 a.m.
Metropolitan Transportation Commission, 101 Eighth St., Oakland, Calif., 510.817.5757.

Agenda (look for item 9a)

If you can’t make the meeting, listen to the live audiocast here on the MTC’s RealMedia stream — but note that the link will function only when the event starts, and meetings don’t always start on time.

A group of rail-transportation advocates and environmentalists plan to protest before the meeting, apparently because the MTC would include the Pacheco Pass alignment (roughly near Gilroy) as part of its recommendation.

Geek out with SFDOE: The San Francisco Department of Elections holds an open house today starting at 3:30 p.m. to explain how it will conduct the upcoming election. Room 48, in the basement of City Hall. If you go, skip the elevator and find the stairs. As you descend into the flourescent-lit, linoleum-paved underbelly of city government, note how rounded the white marble steps are, and imagine the number of footsteps of politicians, lobbyists, power brokers and bureaucrats it must have taken to wear them down so well.

Ballots and Brews: The San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association hosts a discussion of the measures on S.F.’s November ballot, starting at 5:30 p.m. SPUR’s web site lists staff members and SPUR committee members as the speakers, but I understand that one of the city’s better “quantitative market research” analysts and a sharp observer of local politics probably will be there, too. If you’re behind on your homework as a voter, this is a great way to relax with a beer after work and learn something at the same time. This is an event of SPUR’s “Young Urbanists” membership group, targeted at people younger than 40, but they don’t turn older people away.

Ballots and Brews, 312 Sutter St., Fifth Floor.

Party with Bush: While it’s perhaps not as interesting as a Camp David kegger with Dubya, there is indeed a party with a Bush in San Francisco tonight. It’s the Pacific Research Institute‘s annual fund-raising dinner, and the president’s brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, is among the expected guests at the libertarian-minded think tank’s gala, which starts at 6 p.m.

PRI Annual Gala Dinner, Ritz-Carlton Hotel, 600 Stockton St., San Francisco.

Barry Bonds speaks: Barry Bonds in conversation with Ray Taliaferro of KGO radio at 7 p.m. at Hotel Nikko. An event of the Commonwealth Club.

Western SoMA plan: The Western SoMA Citizens Planning Task Force discusses the development of a Western SoMA  Community Plan — a document to guide the future zoning and physical development of San Francisco’s western South of Market Area. The meeting is at 7 p.m. at Bessie Carmichael Elementary School, 375 Seventh St., San Francisco.

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