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Investigative Reports

Will Gov. Brown’s ‘small is beautiful’ sink water plan?

November 20th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi.   During California Gov. Jerry Brown’s first term in office, 1975 to 1983, one of the central planks of his political platform was “small is beautiful.” Brown borrowed his platform from economist E.F. Schumacher’s 1973 book, “Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered.” As the publisher's blurb now describes it: "A landmark statement against 'bigger is bett...

State of CA worsened Desert Hot Springs’ financial problems

November 18th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi. Desert Hot Springs is a poor city east of Banning. The city's median income of $31,356 is 55 percent of California's $57,287. It also has a reputation for crystal meth production straight out of  the television series "Breaking Bad." Hot and poor, Desert Hot Springs now is in the brink of municipal bankruptcy -- although not just yet. On Nov. 12, the Desert Hot Spring’s city cou...

Will Warren Buffett’s hydro prevent CA electricity crisis? — Part 2

November 11th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi. This is Part 2 of a two-part series. Part 1 is here. In Part 1 of this series, I reported on how California is launching a regional "energy imbalancing market" to reduce the spike in the price of electricity each day during sunset hours under the state's new green-energy power grid. This is called the “duck chart problem” in California, as the time profile of energy use looks like...

Will Warren Buffett’s hydro prevent CA electricity crisis? — Part 1

November 8th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi. This is the first of two articles. Part 2 is here. California is trying to create what officially is called an "energy imbalance market" to cut off an emerging daily two-hour energy-pricing crisis. The crisis isn't so much a technical problem of how to ramp up the grid fast enough, as how to cut down a sudden increase in electricity prices during the sunset hours of each day. An energy...
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