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Investigative Reports

Does drought pricing violate state law?

September 20th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi. 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 with this drought fix: It would violate Proposition 218, which voters passed in 1996. It...

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

September 5th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   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 allowed private companies to own, operate and profit from water projects partly funded by taxpay...

How accurate are high-speed rail jobs reports?

September 4th, 2014 By Kathy Hamilton.   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 says “71 companies working on the rail project have offices in the Central Valley; 47 of th...

Expert says drought did not cause Napa quake

August 27th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   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 of 63 trillion gallons (with a "t") of water due to drought had lifted the earth’s crust...
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