Index
Monday
Aug122013

SACRAMENTO: Last month of legislative session, 1,100 bills, volatile issues; commentary (Dan Walters), Darrell Steinberg, "It's 'let's make a deal' time" for Steinberg; 45th Assembly District, special election, large field of candidates, potential impact, "balance of power in Sacramento"........ 

***Various items regarding issues and/or activities relating to doings in Sacramento.....

* Daily News:  "San Fernando Valley's 45th Assembly District race could tilt balance of power in Sacramento"

* Sacramento Bee (Dan Walters):  "It's 'let's make a deal' time for Darrell Steinberg in Senate"

* Los Angeles Times:  "California Legislature faces raft of bills on volatile issues" - "California lawmakers in the Legislature's final month in session are set to tackle about 1,100 bills that feature such politically volatile issues as environmental rules, gun control and immigration."

Monday
Aug122013

L.A. CITY HALL: New Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, how will he be different from his predecessor: "For Garcetti, a focus both narrower and 'more global'"....

* Daily News (Opinion - Los Angeles News Group):  "For Garcetti, a focus both narrower and 'more global'" - From the DN:

How will L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti be different from L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa? Asked about that when he visited the Los Angeles News Group editorial board Friday, Garcetti responded -- characteristically -- with a well-articulated list of differences

 

He plans to focus on a narrower, more reachable set of goals than Villaraigosa had, Garcetti said. The 12-year city councilman said he will have the advantage of more City Hall experience than Villaraigosa brought with him to the mayor's office. And the Rhodes Scholar, who studied at The Queen's College, Oxford, and the London School of Economics, will have what he calls a "more global outlook."

 

Garcetti noted that Villaraigosa was criticized for going out of town too much. "But in some ways, I don't think he traveled enough," Garcetti said. Garcetti said frequent travel to promote Los Angeles to business and government leaders in other states and overseas is vital to promoting L.A. business.

 

One difference the editorial board noticed right away: Whereas Villaraigosa would come to editorial-board meetings with several staff members armed with binders of data, Garcetti walked into the room with a lone press aide and spoke off the cuff.

 

Garcetti said his staff will be smaller than Villaraigosa's, with four deputy mayors compared to 14 for his predecessor...............

Monday
Aug122013

POLITICS/ENVIRONMENT: California Air Resources Board (ARB), greenhouse-gas standards, purchase of carbon emissions "offsets": "Businesses may soon meet California air rules by paying someone else to slash emissions"....

* Sacramento Bee:  "Businesses may soon meet California air rules by paying someone else to slash emissions" - From the Bee:

It will be a lifeline of sorts for the cement factories, oil refiners and hundreds of other businesses struggling with California's stringent greenhouse-gas restrictions.  Soon they'll be able to comply – in part – by paying other people to reduce their own carbon emissions.

That's right: Under standards being drawn up by the California Air Resources Board, companies that have to meet the state's greenhouse-gas standards will be able to satisfy part of their burden by purchasing "offsets" – credits that are generated when carbon emissions are slashed by others. Such as a dairy farmer in Michigan. Or a company in Arkansas that destroys gaseous coolants from old refrigerators. Or a tree planter on California's own North Coast.

The use of offsets will inject a somewhat controversial element into California's effort to battle global warming....................

***ALSO:

* San Jose Mercury News (AP):  "Enviros not happy with California carbon offsets"

Monday
Aug122013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: California high-speed rail project, another construction delay: "'Shovel-ready' bullet train construction delayed again".... 

* Los Angeles Times:  "'Shovel-ready' bullet train construction delayed again" - "Serious construction could start in 2014, when 2012 had been promised. Experts say officials underestimated the challenges of the $68-billion project." - From the LAT:

The start of construction on California's bullet train, one of the nation's largest "shovel ready" public work projects that was awarded stimulus funding three years ago by the Obama administration, is slipping past already-delayed target dates, interviews show.

In early 2012, state officials said construction would begin that year. Early this year, officials adjusted their sights, saying they would begin building the massive new transportation network in the spring, later announcing the groundbreaking would take place in July. Now, it appears that serious construction may not begin this year, and could be delayed into 2014.

Factors contributing to the sluggish start include delays in getting a construction company under contract and lack of key federal permits. Postponing construction work raises the risk of future cost increases and suggests that state officials underestimated the challenges of the $68-billion project, according to construction experts.

"It is not as shovel-ready as they thought it was," said Bill Ibbs, a civil engineering professor at UC Berkeley who consults on major construction projects, including high-speed rail, around the world. "The construction industry is starting to heat up, and, as it does, it is harder to get qualified people, and material costs increase."

Ibbs and others say a one-year schedule slippage before construction starts would be worrisome......................

Monday
Aug122013

POLITICS/TRANSPORTATION: Crenshaw Line, will bring passengers "close to LAX," but not to the airport: "Newest train to LAX will still come up short, at least at first"....  

* Los Angeles Times:  "Newest train to LAX will still come up short, at least at first" - "Upcoming Crenshaw Line will only get travelers close to LAX. Whether it will later be extended to the airport is up in the air." - From the LAT:

Wrapping up a Los Angeles vacation and an hourlong, two-train trek from downtown, Benjamin Levert and his slightly harried wife and daughters just wanted to check in for their flight back to France. Exiting the Metro Green Line at the Aviation/LAX station, they towed their four suitcases down a long escalator. To a parking lot.

"Where is the terminal?" Levert asked his wife in French, looking around and raising his voice over the whoosh of overhead traffic on the 105 Freeway. "What kind of an airport is this?"

The Leverts had stumbled into what critics consider one of L.A.'s great planning failures: a $1-billion train that stops 2.5 miles from passenger terminals of the nation's third-busiest airport.

Now, a generation after the Green Line earned the nickname "the train to nowhere," planners in the midst of a multibillion-dollar rail boom are preparing to break ground on a second LAX-adjacent train that is facing similar issues — and offering a new opportunity to complete a key missing link in the region's sprawling 87.7-mile commuter rail network.

   ****

The $2.06-billion north-south Crenshaw Line will connect the Mid-City Expo Line with the South Bay's Green Line. When it opens, now slated for 2019, it will pass 1.5 miles east of the LAX terminals, with a stop at Century and Aviation boulevards. It will not have an LAX connection, other than shuttles, for up to nine more years, depending on how a series of design and financing issues are resolved....................