It's high time California's policymakers look past their annual dickering over the state budget and start planning for the major, long-range demographic changes facing the Golden State, according to an economic think tank in Sacramento.
California's population is growing, it's aging and its ethnic diversity is increasing, and that means the state must invest more in education, infrastructure and services for the elderly or face a crisis in the not-too-distant future, according to analysts at the liberal California Budget Project and other demographic experts.
Editor's Note: California's Latino, Asian and African American communities are in tune with the rest of the state in their desire to have the government tackle environmental issues like air pollution and global warming, according to a recent survey. Communities bearing the brunt of pollution need to be part of the solution. Mary Ambrose is environmental editor for New America Media. This article is available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese.
Yee amendment helps protect main line of bullet train from SF to LA.
SACRAMENTO – The California Senate on Thursday approved Assembly Bill 3034 to rewrite the $10 billion bond measure set to go before the voters in November to build the state´s high speed rail system. AB 3034 improves the business plan and provides greater public oversight of the high speed rail construction. At the request of Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco/San Mateo), the bill also includes a critical amendment supported by most high speed rail advocates and environmentalists to protect the main line of the bullet train from San Francisco to Los Angeles and Anaheim.
IN THE 21ST CENTURY, one would have thought housing discrimination in the Bay Area was a thing of the past. Unfortunately, that apparently is not the case.
The Eden Council for Hope and Opportunity, a publicly supported nonprofit housing counseling agency, conducted tests in nine Bay Area communities and found landlords discriminated in 29 percent of the cases.
As the group's report concludes, "Although the days of seeing signs displaying the words, 'No coloreds' are long gone, the threads of racism continue to appear in the fabric of our American way of life."
California High Speed Rail Blog
It wasn't the article I was hoping to read upon my return from my honeymoon, but it's not that surprising to read in the Fresno Bee that the Sierra Club and the Planning and Conservation League are hesitating on backing Prop 1 and even considering a lawsuit - and for the nonsensical reason that the choice of the Pacheco route might "induce sprawl." That objection is bad enough, for reasons I'll discuss in a moment.
Metro has voted to ask LA County residents on the November ballot on whether or not to raise the sales tax a half-penny for transit projects. However, the state has still not fully finished their process enabling the sales tax to be raised,
(07-25) 12:07 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A federal appeals court dealt a setback to California and environmental groups today in their battle with the Bush administration over the state's efforts to restrict vehicle emissions of gases that contribute to global warming.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco dismissed a lawsuit filed by California and 15 other states in January over the Environmental Protection Agency's refusal to let the state enforce its limits on greenhouse gas emissions from new cars and trucks. The court said the suit was premature because the EPA hadn't yet taken formal action to deny the state's request.
SACRAMENTO -- California's jobless rate crept ahead Friday as experts saw weakness spreading into new areas of the economy.
For months, job losses were concentrated in the state's housing industry. But with June's increase of one-tenth of a percentage point to 6.9%, it was evident that a broader downturn is underway.
While millions of American families struggle with falling house prices, soaring gasoline costs and tightening credit, some environmentalists, urban planners and urban real estate speculators are welcoming the bad news as signaling what they have long dreamed of -- the demise of suburbia.
In a March Atlantic article, Christopher B. Leinberger, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution and a professor of urban planning, contended that yesterday's new suburbs will become "the slums" of tomorrow because high gas prices and the housing meltdown will force Americans back to the urban core. Leinberger is not alone. Other pundits, among them author James Howard Kunstler, who despises suburban aesthetics, and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, see the pain in suburbia as a silver lining for urban revival.