Investigative Reports

Will San Francisco take a big gulp of soda tax?

December 10th, 2013 By Dave Roberts.   There have been a number of efforts to increase the tax on sugary beverages in California in recent years, with little to show for it so far. But the next battle in the soda tax war, in San Francisco next November, could make or break the sour-on-sugar movement. Proponents argue that increasing the tax on sodas by one or two cents per ounce will prevent obesity, thereby saving m...

CA electric rate reform adjusts rates from 2001 crisis

December 9th, 2013 By Wayne Lusvardi. Now that the $42 billion in debt from the 2001 Electricity Crisis has been paid off, California is in the process of re-working electric power rates. It has mostly been high-volume electricity users who have been paying down that debt through higher power rates. California's "tiered" electricity rate billing system is based on usage. Rates go up the more you use. But that now ...

California’s disappearing farmland

December 3rd, 2013 By Dave Roberts.   More than 370,000 acres of California's irrigated farmland disappeared from 2006-10. Officials are concerned that hundreds of thousands of additional acres could be lost in the coming years, threatening California's leading role in feeding the nation and indeed much of the world. About 168,000 acres of irrigated land disappeared from 2008 to 2010 -- 102,000 acres of it were ...

Lobbyist organizes second legislative junket to Cuba

December 1st, 2013 By John Hrabe. An influential Sacramento lobbyist -- who paid out a $500,000 settlement for allegedly engaging in "pay-to-play" behavior -- has organized a second junket to Cuba for California lawmakers. This week, Darius Anderson, the founder and president of Sacramento-based lobbying firm Platinum Advisors, will host a six-day, five-night trip to Havana for California lawmakers. The trip, wh...
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