Infrastructure

Gov. Brown rebuilds redevelopment

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014

Reversing his 2011 abolition of redevelopment, on Monday Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law two bills that will revive it, Senate Bill 628 and Assembly Bill 229. He also vetoed a third redevelopment measure, AB2280, he believed went too far by codifying an anti-poverty program into redevelopment la...

Drought brings centralized groundwater control

Monday, September 29th, 2014

  Was it necessary to pass three new bills that increase the California government's control over groundwater? The numbers tell the story. By now most Californians have heard the shockingly huge number: The state has lost 63 trillion gallons of water due to the drought that has hit sin...

SoCal water reserves could dry up in 2016

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
Demolition of water tower south base

  The nearby photo shows the recent demolition of a 160-foot water tank tower at Edwards Air Force Base northeast of Lancaster. Could it be a prophetic image for Southern California’s future? The Associated Press reported the area's regional water supplier, the Metropolitan Water D...

New appeal seeks to halt bullet train

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

A new legal move has ratcheted up the legal battle around California's $68 billion high-speed rail project. In a controversial decision late this July, the California Court of Appeal for the Third District brushed aside claims that ballot wording and voters' intent carried legal weight that...

Sacramento hits the gas on driving taxes

Friday, September 12th, 2014
state Gas Taxes Apr 2014

Within a few years, California may choose to tax drivers by the mile. Taking up a controversial idea floated by the federal government and embraced by Oregon, Sacramento legislators recently passed a bill that could lead to a new "road usage charge." Senate Bill 1077 wouldn't impose a driving ta...

Sacramento unplugs Brown battery plan

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
battery matrix

  At its Sept. 4 meeting, the Sacramento Municipal Utility District deferred deploying batteries along its electric grid in compliance with Assembly Bill 2514 of 2010. The reason: energy storage was not economically feasible. (See p. 93 and p. 143 of the Board Agenda) The action was a ...

Water deal turnoff helped parch L.A.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014
Cadiz Water sign

Los Angeles sure could use extra water right now. But in 2002 the water-locked city forfeited a Golden State opportunity to buy drought-relief water from the Cadiz Inc. water company, mainly due to political pressure from environmental organizations.  Other more nimble public water agencies...

In fighting drought, San Antonio leaves L.A. in the dust

Friday, September 5th, 2014
TexasDrought

  Could cities such as drought-vulnerable Los Angeles come to regret that a “privatization” provision in the old $11.1 billion state water bond was removed? Back in 2009, there was an outcry against language in the original version of a proposed state water bond that would have allowe...

CA high court asked to review bullet-train ruling

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
Kings County

Arguing that an appellate court ruling endangers the public’s faith in future bond initiatives,  the attorneys for the Tos/Fukuda/Kings County group challenging the state's bullet-train plans on Tuesday asked the California Supreme Court to review the recent decision reversing trial-court rulings...

After gamble backfires, L.A. demands refund from banks

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
interest-rate-swaps-7

  In the San Francisco Bay area, public transit riders are paying $104 million in higher rider fees to cover the cost of exotic financial insurance known as an interest rate swap. In Detroit, the inability of the city to make interest rate swap payments signaled eventual bankruptcy. So the r...