Investigative Reports

Market closing Prop. 13 commercial property tax gap

January 6th, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi. Almost 36 years after it was passed by voters, controversy continues to swirl around Proposition 13, the 1978 tax limitation measure. Periodic calls to repeal or modify it, supposedly to gain more tax revenue, so far have gone nowhere. The main objection is that it's unfair because homeowners -- and especially businesses -- that have held their properties for decades pay less in prop...

Scientist says no reason to shut down San Onofre nuke plant

January 3rd, 2014 By Wayne Lusvardi.   Can the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, whose decommissioning was announced last June, be salvaged? Cal-Tech trained geochemist and nuclear waste expert James Conca in Forbes.com says it can.  Conca makes a case that Southern California electric ratepayers should not need to pick up the $830 million net cost of permanently closing the power plant because there is no sou...

Bird deaths complicate renewable energy push

December 26th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi.   On Dec. 19, San Diego Gas and Electric filed suit against NaturEner, which operates wind farms in Montana. The suit alleged NaturEner did not meet its contractual requirements to preserve eagles, raptors, bats and other protected bird species for electricity sent to California. A renewable energy company in Madrid, Spain owns San Francisco-based NaturEner. The lawsuit is the fi...

Lawsuit threatens teachers unions’ power

December 20th, 2013 By Dave Roberts. “Money is the mother’s milk of politics”           -- Former Assembly Speaker Jesse ‘Big Daddy’ Unruh The California Teachers Association has poured more than $150 million into state politics in the past decade – most of it going to Democratic candidates and liberal ballot measures. That kind of spending makes the 325,000-member CTA one of the greatest political forces...
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