Bullet train faces difficult journey

An artist's conception of the bullet train in operation. (Image, High Speed Rail Authority)

California’s bullet train may be in trouble again, as a recent court ruling and potential funding obstacles have plunged the transportation project into further uncertainty. The latest setbacks add to lingering questions over whether the $64 billion project can both meet its scheduled completion date and guarantee enough funding.

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News

Stem cell agency eyes survival options

An illustration of stem cells used in research. (Photo: Billion Photos, via Shutterstock)

California’s $3 billion stem cell research agency, which is facing its financial demise in a few short years, has formed a team of its directors to tackle transition planning and examine possible alternatives, including ones that would extend its life. The first meeting of the group of directors is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 18. 

News

‘Green rush’ stalled in tiny Nipton?

Welcome to Nipton, a tiny California town in the Mojave Desert. (Photo: Screen capture, CNN)

It appears that a company’s plans to turn a remote San Bernardino County town into a marijuana tourism mecca may go up in smoke. Earlier this month, Arizona-based American Green announced it purchased the entire California town of Nipton for about $5 million to make it a hub of cannabis production mixed with bed-and-breakfast lodging and attractions like mineral baths.

Opinion

How did the air fare in cap-and-trade?

Air pollution over Suisun Bay as seen from Briones Regional Park, Contra Costa County. (Photo: Sundry Photography, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: The bills (AB 398 and AB 617) that Gov. Jerry Brown signed on July 25 and 26 represent the culmination of years of debate in the Capitol over global warming and air quality. Now that those bills have become law, what have we learned?

News

From toilet water to drinking water

The old 6th Street bridge in Los Angeles over the L.A. viaduct. (Photo: trekandshoot, vis Shutterstock)

This legislation might be hard to swallow: Lawmakers are considering a bill that would clear the way for California communities to put highly treated wastewater directly into the drinking water supply. “The media likes to start off with the catchy phrase toilet to tap,” said Jennifer West, managing director of Water Reuse, about the intensive purification process. “But there’s a lot that goes on between toilet and tap.”

News

Where are they now? John Dunlap

Former state Sen. John Dunlap. (Photo courtesy Napa Valley Register/J.L. Sousa)

The California Legislature’s longest-lived political dynasty was the Coombs-Dunlap family, which included four generations and stretched over 120 years. The last legislator from the family was Sen. John F. Dunlap, who at nearly 95 is currently the fifth-oldest living former California state legislator.

News

Politically, millennials are a pain

A group of millennial friends looking out at an urban landscape. (Photo: Eugenio Marongiu)

Millennials are better educated than previous generations; they are technologically savvy. For political types, they are a headache. They are the largest living generation. Even though there are 9.4 million California millennials, making them a potentially rich source of votes, they don’t vote in very high percentages unless they’re thrilled. They get more excited about general elections than midterms. That’s true of the electorate as a whole, usually, but it’s especially evident among millennials.

News

Bail: A fight to remove the price tag

A judge's gavel and money -- two elements of the bail process. (Photo: AVN Photo Lab)

Bail is supposed to make sure that a defendant returns for the court date, although critics say bail merely punishes people for being poor. Legislation is moving through the Capitol to try to resolve this issue, but it is fiercely opposed by the bail agents and bounty hunters who make their living assuring the courts that skittish defendants will show up.

Letters

Letter to the Editor: Transparency

Pharmacy transparency is one of the most vital components of healthcare in this country – sadly, California is severely lagging in this transparency department. In July, the California Senate Health Committee heard Assembly Bill 315 (AB 315) – it passed unanimously with support from both sides of the aisle. 

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