05/22/2019

News

From The West Coast To New England, Lawmakers Push Policies That Inflate Gas Prices & Utility Bills

California Governor Gavin Newsom recently called for the state’s energy commission to investigate the cause of California’s relatively high gas prices. At the time of Newsom’s request on April 23, California drivers were paying an average of $4.03 per gallon according to AAA, or $1.18 more than the national average. “Independent analysis suggests that an […]

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Retail Sales Declined In April

Spending at U.S. retailers declined in April, signaling hesitation among consumers as the second quarter began. Retail sales, a measure of purchases at stores, restaurants and online, declined a seasonally adjusted 0.2% in April from a month earlier, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. The drop fell short of economists’ expectations for a slight increase. It […]

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More errors at the DMV: Thousands of customers can’t get licenses after paying early

Bogged down by long customer wait times, California’s Department of Motor last fall tried to ease the pressure in its offices by sending license renewal notices much earlier than usual. It backfired. The DMV sent renewal notices to Californians 120 to 150 days before their licenses were scheduled to expire. But the department’s technology could […]

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Not-so-free college: The limits of California’s Promise program

The problem, according to Youngblood, is who isn’t eligible: part-time students, who make up more than two thirds of the community college population. While research shows students taking 12 units or more per semester are more likely to earn a degree or certificate, Youngblood says many low-income students are simply too busy working to handle […]

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Cyber-Sabotage, Wildfires, Weather — A Web Of Threats To The Power Supply Could Leave Californians In The Dark

Russians hack Ukraine’s electricity network, turning lights off and on at will, rendering the country’s best tech hands helpless to intervene. North Korea takes over the controls of a South Korean nuclear power plant. Snipers with high-velocity rifles unleash a fusillade on a transmission station near San Jose, inflicting $15 million in damage. It’s not […]

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A bold new plan to tackle climate change ignores economic orthodoxy

Green New Dealers reckon the secret lies in making the economy both greener and more equitable. Their plan remains ill-defined, though Democrats are expected to release draft legislation that may provide more details soon. But its primary aims are clear. It proposes a move to 100% clean and renewable energy within a decade or two, […]

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As the Planet Warms, Who Should Get to Drive?

One major goal outlined by the resolution: overhauling the country’s transportation systems, so that electric vehicles, public transit, and high-speed rail can replace every combustion-engine vehicle. In many ways, that’s a summation of every eco-conscious urbanist’s dreams. Transportation produces the largest share of U.S. greenhouse gases, so everything should be done to reduce the globe-cooking […]

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Transit: The Long Commute

The headline trumpeted “Report: 98 Percent Of U.S. Commuters Favor Public Transportation For Others,” in a 2000 edition of The Onion, the leading national satirical newspaper. The spoof suggested a national transit promotional campaign with the slogan “Take The Bus… I’ll Be Glad You Did,” and quoted a Los Angeles 80 mile daily commuter “Expanding […]

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Phil Matier: Cars still hold No. 1 spot for getting around in SF — and it’s getting worse

Despite millions of dollars spent on new bike lanes and other transit improvements, people still favor cars when it comes to commuting in and around San Francisco, a new report by the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency concludes.

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February 6, 2019 – California Dems Excited About Biden And Harris, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; 43% Of Voters Say They Can’t Afford To Live Here

Led by younger voters, 43 percent of California voters feel they can’t afford to live in the Golden State. Among voters 18 to 34 years old, 61 percent say they can’t afford to live in California. Voters statewide say 77 – 18 percent that there is a housing crisis in California. That ranges from 72 […]

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You think Bay Area housing is expensive? Child care costs are rising, too

Much like the hunt for a place to live in the Bay Area, the search for child care is getting harder as prices rise. Over the past four years, the median cost of childcare in the nine-county Bay Area increased 40 percent, according to research from Oakland’s Insight Center for Community Economic Development. In San […]

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Hot air balloons took off from California veterans home without state noticing, audit finds

A Napa Valley veterans home once criticized for building an adventure park on its grounds has been allowing a golf course to offer hot air balloon rides for years without a lease permitting the rides, according to a state auditor’s report released Tuesday. The report draws attention to a mix of leases that the California […]

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San Francisco — where drug addicts outnumber high school students

San Francisco has more drug addicts than it has students enrolled in its public high schools, the city Health Department’s latest estimates conclude. There are about 24,500 injection drug users in San Francisco — that’s about 8,500 more people than the nearly 16,000 students enrolled in San Francisco Unified School District’s 15 high schools and […]

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State and Local Sales Tax Rates, 2019

The five states with the highest average combined state and local sales tax rates are Tennessee (9.47 percent), Louisiana (9.45 percent), Arkansas (9.43 percent), Washington (9.17 percent), and Alabama (9.14 percent). The five states with the lowest average combined rates are Alaska (1.43 percent), Hawaii (4.41 percent), Wyoming (5.36 percent), Wisconsin (5.44 percent), and Maine […]

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Bureaucracy vs. Democracy

The daily detonations from the White House are diverting our attention from deeper flaws in modern American government. Donald Trump was elected for a reason: many Americans are fed up with Washington. They see Washington as a kind of alien power, dictating policies and behavior without regard to the feelings or needs of real people. […]

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