05/22/2019

News

Key Conflicts Roil California’s Ever-Evolving Waterscape

As 2018 was winding down, one of California’s leading newspapers suggested, via a front-page, banner-headlined article, that the drought that had plagued the state for much of this decade may be returning. Just weeks later, that same newspaper was reporting that record-level midwinter storms were choking mountain passes with snow, rapidly filling reservoirs and causing […]

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Opinion: Why Building More Shelters Won’t Solve Homelessness

Many naive policymakers discuss homelessness in purely economic terms, perpetrating a distracting myth. Sure, people become homeless for diverse reasons. One might be a LGBT youth, kicked out by parents. Another might be a spouse fleeing an abusive relationship. Those are prime candidates for conventional outreach and solutions: Make them aware of shelters and house […]

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High-Profile California Housing Bill Dies Without A Vote: ‘I’m Deeply Disappointed’

The highest-profile bill moving through the California Legislature aimed at addressing the state’s housing crisis has effectively been killed for the rest of the year. Proposed by state Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, Senate Bill 50 would have rewritten zoning laws and forced local governments to allow taller apartment buildings and other multi-family complex near […]

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Homeless Shelter Opponents Are Using This Environmental Law In Bid To Block New Housing

Earlier this spring, residents of a San Francisco waterfront neighborhood put up a plea on GoFundMe, seeking to raise $100,000 to file a lawsuit under one of California’s landmark environmental laws. The fundraiser, which surpassed its goal, wasn’t intended to fight a toxic waste facility or industrial warehouse. Instead, residents plan to sue to stop […]

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California Community College Faculty Groups Vote No Confidence In Chancellor

The California community college’s faculty association has voted a measure of no confidence in the administration of statewide chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley, citing what the professors’ organization said was a lack of proper consultation and concerns about college funding and the new online college. The unanimous vote last week was aimed not just at Oakley […]

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Tesla Warns Of Upcoming Shortages Of Battery Minerals, Like Nickel, Copper, & Lithium

Tesla is worried that there soon will be some upcoming global shortages of minerals used to make batteries for electric cars, like nickel, copper, and lithium. The electric revolution in the auto industry is increasing the demand for batteries at an incredible pace and in turn, it’s increasing the demand for some specific minerals used […]

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Despite Sharp Growth In Electric Cars, Vehicle Emissions Keep Rising

It is tempting to employ any number of puns when considering California’s transportation future:  The state is at a crossroads, its policies could run out of gas, dangerous curves lie ahead. But keeping in mind that the state’s climate policies demand the wholesale electrification of transportation, here’s another: California must reinvent not only the wheel, […]

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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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Renewable Gas Really Is Too Good To Be True

As California ramps up efforts to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions statewide, one polluting industry, in particular, is fighting to maintain relevance. In the face of local governments, state regulators, health professionals, and environmental groups calling for clean energy homes and buildings that can be powered with renewable electricity instead of gas, […]

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Universal Basic Income Doesn’t Work. Let’s Boost The Public Realm Instead

A study published this week sheds doubt on ambitious claims made for universal basic income (UBI), the scheme that would give everyone regular, unconditional cash payments that are enough to live on. Its advocates claim it would help to reduce poverty, narrow inequalities and tackle the effects of automation on jobs and income. Research conducted […]

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Quarterly Housing Units In California Down 10%

March 2019 building permits came in hot with a 40% total unit increase compared to February 2019, including a 25% increase in single-family dwelling units and a 63% increase for multifamily – but that’s where the positive news ends. All housing categories, and even non-residential construction valuation categories, revealed permit decreases of at least 15% […]

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Wealthy Bay Area Suburbs Could Have A Whole New Look Under California Housing Bill

When Paul Wickboldt moved to the Bay Area from Boston more than two decades ago, he settled in Walnut Creek for the same reasons many families choose the suburbs: good public schools, safety, a backyard for the kids to play in, and the pleasure of knowing his neighbors. “There’s a different level of anonymity that […]

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Newsom Proposes More Help For Homeless California College Students But No Major Cal Grant Boost

Governor Gavin Newsom proposed adding $10 million to help college students with emergency housing costs but stopped short of expanding the state’s Cal Grant program to cover full expenses of rent and food of all needy students. Newsom did not embrace the massive financial aid increase that some legislators and advocates want to cover students’ […]

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U.S. Student-Loan Program Now Runs Deficit, CBO Estimates

U.S. officials no longer think the government will make money off the federal student-loan program and now project it will cost taxpayers tens of billions of dollars in coming years, according to a new congressional estimate. The program is losing money after a surge of borrowers defaulting on loans or enrolling in plans that ultimately […]

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