Investigation-Investigation

NEW: Fact-checking drought-water pricing

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Drought, Sept. 16, 2014

  This is Part 2 of a series. Part 1 was on how drought-water pricing violates Proposition 218's ban on tax increases without a vote of the people. What is good water pricing during a drought? Let's look at some situations. 1. Voluntary conservation A good place to start is the continu...

Does drought pricing violate state law?

Saturday, September 20th, 2014
water meter - wikimedia

This is Part 1 of a series. Calls now are going out to raise water prices even higher to spur conservation. Instead of fining people for watering their lawns, numerous economists are recommending just tacking a punitive surcharge onto water rates until use drops. But there's a problem ...

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...

How accurate are high-speed rail jobs reports?

Thursday, September 4th, 2014
high-speed rail jobs

  How many jobs is the California high-speed rail project creating? As California’s unemployment rate remains above the national number, it’s a crucial question. The California High-Speed Rail  Authority has numbers of jobs created as of April. As reported by McClatchy, the CHSRA say...

Expert says drought did not cause Napa quake

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
annual rainfall lost to drought

  Natural disasters predictably bring up speculation about causes. On radio shows, callers have been wondering whether the ongoing drought or fracking caused the 6.0 Richter scale South Napa Earthquake on Aug. 24. It's true that, just before the quake, scientists reported that a loss ...

Covered CA premiums set to spike

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014
Dave Jones - wikimedia

  For some time, Obamacare critics have warned that health insurance premiums would skyrocket once the Affordable Care Act went into effect. Now they say the leap in premiums, as calculated by state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, is just the beginning of hefty annual hikes in the year...

Switch to almond farming hits water policy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
almond crops California, U.C. Davis

  Got almonds? California rice farmers are shifting to growing higher-priced almonds, whose acreage jumped by more than 50 percent last year, to offset the high price of water during the drought. But there will be many unforeseen consequences, especially as rice harvests decline. Alt...

Summary details high-speed rail problems

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014
high-speed rail front page

  As construction is going forward, now would be a good time to clear the air a little and summarize California’s high-speed rail project. And why not with a little humor? This month the Santa Clarita Valley Signal published a tongue-in-cheek editorial on the project. It referenced th...

Can CA be 100% clean energy by 2050?

Monday, August 4th, 2014

  Can California be oil-free by 2050, just 36 years from now? Yes, according to Mark Jacobson of Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. He says California can be oil free by 2050 with a quadruple redundant energy system of thousands of wind turbines, millions of solar panel arrays a...

Bill would mandate employee poverty data

Friday, August 1st, 2014
Jimmy Gomez

A bill making its way through the state Legislature seeks to publicly “shame” California businesses that employ a large number of workers who also receive public assistance benefits. That’s the warning from the California Chamber of Commerce in a press release headlined “CalChamber, Sta...

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