Blight Envy - How Development Works in LA

I never thought I’d say this, but I think I want to live in a blighted neighborhood. Well, actually, a community redevelopment area (CRA). They used to be one and the same, but no longer. Apparently you have to live or do business in a redevelopment area to get any “love” in Los Angeles … love being when the government takes your tax dollars and gives them to someone else no more needy.

Let me explain.  read more »

Transportation Infrastructure: Yankee Ingenuity Keeps California Moving

A friend was explaining some philosophy to me the other day and he used an analogy to make his point: If you can get a cannibal to use a knife and fork, is that progress? Of course, the answer is "no". So when I heard the next day that transportation infrastructure performance in the US improved significantly at the height of the worst recession since the great depression I had to ask: is that progress?  read more »

Fwd: California's Bullet Train --- On the Road to Bankruptcy

For California’s high-speed rail boosters including their chief cheerleader, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the month of May must have felt like a month from hell. First came a scathing report by California legislature’s fiscal watchdog, the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO), questioning the rail authority’s unrealistic cost estimates and its decision to build the first $5.5 billion segment in the sparsely populated Central Valley between Borden and Corcoran.  read more »

Hollywood Unions

If you work in L.A. in film, tv, radio, music, news, live or “new” media, there’s a very good chance you’re in a union.

That’s true if you’re an actor, camera operator, broadcaster, hair stylist, electrician, costume designer, truck driver, writer, production manager, art director or stunt man or woman.

It’s one of last industries in America with what’s called “union density,” in which collective bargaining determines wage scale, residuals, medical and pension coverage; and sets work rules and jurisdiction (who does what).  read more »

Los Angeles: Slowest Growth Since Late 1800s

Just released 2010 Census data indicates that the city of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County experienced their smallest numeric population growth since the 1890 to 1900 census period.  read more »

Population Dispersion Continues in Riverside-San Bernardino, San Diego and Sacramento

Population growth continued the strongest in the suburban areas of Riverside-San Bernardino, San Diego and Sacramento, while unusually strong growth occurred in the historical core municipalities, all of which are dominated by a suburban urban form.  read more »

Bay Area Growth Slowing

New 2010 Census data indicates that the two major metropolitan areas in the San Francisco Bay Area, San Francisco and San Jose, have settled into a pattern of slow growth.

San Francisco: The San Francisco metropolitan area grew 5.1 percent between 2000 and 2010, a more than one-half drop from the 1990 to 2000 rate of 11.9 percent, from 4,124,000 to 4,335,000, for a gain of 211,000. Only in one decade (1970 to 1980) have the five counties of the metropolitan area gained at such a slow percentage rate.  read more »

California High Speed Rail Costs Escalate 50 Percent in 2 Years

The highly respected Californians for Responsible Rail Design (CARRD) has released a new cost estimate for the phase 1 Los Angeles to San Francisco high-speed rail line. Based upon an analysis of California high-speed rail Authority documentation, including stimulus grant applications and other internal sources, CARRD estimates that the line will now cost $65 billion, rather than the current estimate of $43 billion.

The CARRD release indicated:  read more »

More Cap and Trade Delays in California

The California Air Resources Board had good intentions when it developed a cap-and-trade plan to meet greenhouse gas standards, but according to a San Francisco Superior Court Judge, the Board made a few mistakes that will delay their efforts. The Air Resources Board is acting in response to AB32, California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which calls for the reduction of carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  read more »

A Train to Nowhere: Not A Train Through Nowhere

In expressing its opposition to the California High Speed Rail line, Washington Post editorialists noted that critics of the now approved Borden to Corcoran segment have called the line a "train to nowhere" ("Hitting the breaks on California's high speed rail experiment"). The Post call this:  read more »