Infrastructure

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 ...

Part of bullet-train legal mystery may be answered

Friday, October 31st, 2014

For close followers of the bullet-train saga, one of the most basic mysteries of recent years has been what happened after Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Kenny's tentative ruling in August 2013 that blocked the state from starting construction on the first segment of the project. Kenny f...

Hydropower AB 32 scam as bad as one L.A. Times detailed

Monday, October 27th, 2014
green.fraud

The Los Angeles Times had a good analysis over the weekend of how AB 32 is being gamed in ways that make suspect its claims to be cleaning up the environment. California's pioneering climate-change law has a long reach, but that doesn't mean all its mandates will help stave off global warming. To ...

Are benefits of Prop 1 being oversold?

Saturday, October 25th, 2014
ws_infographics_outdoor

Proposition 1 -- a $7.1 billion state bond to pay for a variety of water projects -- was billed as a huge improvement over bloated past proposed water bonds when it emerged from the Legislature this summer. Now Gov. Jerry Brown's political warchest and Sean Parker of Facebook and Napster fame are fu...

Ruling that CA high court upheld hardly favorable to bullet train

Friday, October 17th, 2014

I talked to a couple of insider types Thursday who asked me to explain my take on Wednesday's California Supreme Court announcement on the bullet train. After all that's gone down, they couldn't believe that the justices would clear the way for the state to begin selling bonds for the $68 billion bo...

Japan’s 50th bullet train anniversary: What it says about CA

Monday, October 6th, 2014
shin

Oct. 1 marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of commercial operations for Japan's bullet train system. The Shinkansen is by far the most successful bullet train network in the world. The British press and just about no one else outside of Japan thinks this is a big deal. Of course it is a big...