Infrastructure

Budget fight shows unlikelihood of fed $ for bullet train

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
bullet.train.curve

Congress' most intense squabbles over the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending plan that passed Saturday weren't over the budget details. They were over plans to add provisions in the measure to modify existing laws, most notably language that would weaken some protections against a fresh round of Wall St...

High-speed rail incompatible with current tracks

Monday, December 15th, 2014
confederate-railroad-confederaterailroad.com_

One reason the American South lost the Civil War was it had numerous incompatible railroad track systems, requiring supplies to be unloaded, then loaded again, for each different segment. By contrast, the Northern rail networks were more uniform, although not completely so. That's turning out to ...

Meet the Mother Jones staffer who thinks the bullet train is nuts

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014
mother.jones.cover

There are bullet-train apostates among California Democrats, starting with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and bullet-train fans among state GOPers, starting with Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin. But by and large, the bullet-train debate in the Golden State is a partisan affair. This doesn't make much sens...

If CA can’t build bridge, what about bullet train through mountains?

Monday, December 8th, 2014

If the state of California can't build a bridge, how can it handle the huge technological and engineering challenge of building a bullet train through two mountain ranges laced with seismic faults? Such questions are inevitable after the latest Sacramento Bee report questioning progress on the s...

57% of CA infrastructure $ on mass transit? More, more, more!

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
sb375

In 2008, California enacted SB 375, the most important state law you never heard about. It was Senate leader Darrell Steinberg's bid for the sort of green reverence that Arnold Schwarzenegger enjoyed because of 2006's AB 32. SB 375 (Chapter 728, Statutes of 2008) directs the California Air Resource...

Good news: Lantern brings Internet to everybody

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
NEW: Good news: Lantern brings Internet to everybody

Some good news. A new pocket-sized, solar-powered device, Lantern, brings the Internet to everybody -- including the poorest people who have no local Internet. Lantern brings down satellite signals to your computer or smart phone, then lets you communicate with the world. So people living in som...

Will MWD try — again — to sabotage client seeking new water supplies?

Monday, November 17th, 2014
chinatown

I've been a journalist in Socal since 1990, and I've never seen a story about government behavior as strange as the ones about the giant Metropolitan Water District of Southern California trying to sabotage its biggest client's efforts to broaden its water supply and reduce its reliance on the MWD -...

‘Net neutrality’ = double-nickel

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014
55 speed limit

President Obama's "net neutrality" scheme was branded "Obamacare for the Internet" by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex., a 2016 presidential hopeful. A better analogy is the double-nickle, the 55 mph speed limit President Nixon imposed on the country in 1974, just three years after I started driving at 16. ...

Mexico also having high-speed rail problems

Monday, November 10th, 2014
Enrique Pena Nieto

California isn't the only place having problems building high-speed rail. So is Mexico. The Times reported: Bowing to intense criticism, the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto yanked a contract worth nearly $4 billion from a Chinese-led consortium to build a bullet train, billed as one of ...

Think tank explained CA’s affordable housing debacles long ago

Monday, November 10th, 2014
affhousing

A weekend story about the gross failure of affordable housing policies in San Francisco contained plenty of public frustration and official consternation. But it also is one more example of the very shallow way this issue is almost always covered by California journalists, which means they are part ...