Posts Tagged: use

News

CA120: The lowdown on ‘ballot harvesting’

An illustration of voters preparing their ballots for mailing. (Image: Lightspring, via Shutterstock)

A recent dustup with the California Republican Party using unofficial dropboxes as a version of so-called “ballot harvesting” has brought the state’s ballot delivery process under a national spotlight. Much of this controversy can be attributed to the misleading way in which the law has been interpreted, most commonly by people who are trying to conjure up scandal and supposed misdeeds by campaigns that organize such efforts and win.

News

California pesticide use high, covers vast acreage

Pesticide warning signs in a California field that is ready for planting. (Photo:Tom Grundy, via Shutterstock)

FairWarning: Farmers in California, the nation’s top agricultural state, are applying near-record levels of pesticides despite the rising popularity of organic produce and concerns about the health of farmworkers and rural schoolchildren. The latest figures, released in April by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and covering 2016, show that 209 million pounds of pesticide active ingredients were used in agriculture.

News

State bets $30 million on new cancer treatment

A scientist works in a biological laboratory. (Photo: Anya Ivanova, via Shutterstock)

A new stem cell company that targets cancer by unleashing an “eat me” trigger has emerged from a $30 million investment by the state of California. Creation of the Palo Alto firm, which is called Forty Seven, Inc., was announced Feb. 24 by its backers and its key researcher, Irv Weissman, director of Stanford University’s stem cell program.

News

LAO: Ballot initiative would triple cigarette taxes

A cigarette smoker enjoying his habit. (Photo: Pe3k, via Shutterstock)

An initiative aimed at next year’s ballot to more than triple the tax on California cigarettes would raise at least $1.3 billion annually, with the money going to an array of health and other programs, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser. The Legislative Analyst’s Office reported Monday that the proposal to add $2 in taxes to a pack of cigarettes would increase the per-pack taxes to $2.87.

News

BOE headquarters: Falling plaster, shattered glass, even bats

The headquarters building of the Board of Equalization in Sacramento, 450 N Street. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

To the passer-by, the tower at 450 N Street is a downtown landmark, soaring assertively 24 stories into the Sacramento sky. But for more than a decade, the Board of Equalization’s (BoE) headquarters building has been a nightmare to an assortment of state bureaucrats. Glass panels fall out; water leaks; elevators stop between floors; there are potentially dangerous contaminants; plaster falls off walls; there are lawsuits.

News

Felicia Marcus navigates drought’s rough water

Felicia Marcus, chair of the State Water Resources Control Board, is at the heart of California's efforts to deal with an unprecedented drought. (Photo: Phil Kampel for Capitol Weekly)

No matter what you might have heard, Felicia Marcus wants you to know she doesn’t hate your lawn. At least not on general principle. “No, no, no,” Marcus, the chair of the Water Resources Control Board, says emphatically when asked about a quote from California Farm Bureau Federation president Paul Wenger that claimed Marcus has a personal vendetta against green lawns.

Opinion

Drug problem at the root of crime

A photo illustration of the temptation of drug use. (Photo: David Orcea, Shutterstock)

OPINION: As a public safety officer for nearly 20 years, I am often asked what I believe is an effective way to suppress crime in our nation. The answer is simple: Solve our drug problem. And while many envision street drugs as the problem, the misuse of prescription drugs is a huge crisis with no bias toward any community in this state. Prescription opioid abuse is estimated to cost the United States about $56 billion annually due to health costs, criminal justice costs and lost productivity.

Opinion

Indirect land use change: ARB needs evidence, not theory

OPINION: When the Greek philosopher Aristotle presented fellow scholars with empirical evidence and scientific proof that the world was round—not flat—around 330 BC, he was called a lunatic and a charlatan. More than two millennia later, Sacramento has its own version of the Flat Earth Society — the California Air Resources Board (ARB). Only this time, the debate isn’t over the shape of the Earth; it’s over an obscure regulatory concept known as Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC), a component of the state’s Low Carbon Fuels Standard (LCFS).

News

Field Poll: Californians split on drought measures

Millerton Lake in Fresno County formed by the Friant Dam. Photo: K.J. Kolb

Nearly all California voters (88%) believe the state is undergoing a serious water shortage. However, there is no clear consensus about whether the situation is due more to a lack of water storage and supply facilities in the state, or users not using existing supplies efficiently enough. Statewide, 27% cite the former, 37% the latter and another 24% say both are equally responsible.

News

PPIC examines use of parcel taxes

Lowering the vote threshold for passage of local school parcel taxes would likely allow far more to pass. But there is no evidence that it would expand their use beyond the sort of wealthy Bay Area school districts that already have them. These are the key findings of a report released today by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC). The report assesses the potential effect of reducing the vote required to pass these taxes from two-thirds to 55 percent—a proposal the state legislature has been discussing. Although a parcel tax is one of the only local revenue options available to school districts, these taxes are not widespread. Only about 10 percent of districts have passed one, and the money raised amounts to less than 1 percent of total K–12 revenue.

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