California’s cap-and-trade program is up and running. The state’s Air Resources Board (CARB) held its first auction of greenhouse gas emission credits last month, racking up $289 million in revenue. Now, the state must decide on how best to divvy up the proceeds. Although much of the funding is legally restricted, the process for deciding who gets what promises to be contentious. (more…)
With the November elections behind us, it’s time to go beyond promises and platitudes and get down to the task of governance. If politicians and pundits were focused on gaining momentum in the lead-up to November 6th, the emphasis has now shifted to mandates (real or imagined) and fulfilling the will of the electorate. As we send a newly elected crop of policymakers to their respective local, state, and federal posts, it’s important to assess what new decision-making tools and emerging policies are available. (more…)
As the year draws to a close, it appears that the Golden State has turned a corner. At the onset of 2012 we called on Californians to remake the state in the image of our boldest vision. And, assuming that the world doesn’t come to an end in three days, it seems like the state is on track to do just that. Voters have stepped up to help right the state’s wayward finances, embracing education and continued funding for clean technology. The state’s cap-and-trade program is off the ground, high speed rail is gaining traction, and a plan to fix our vulnerable water system is in the works. Moreover, it seems that California is once again positioned to be a national leader in innovation. Our progress has been uneven, and great disparities still exist along geographic and socioeconomic lines. Still, it seems like California’s trajectory has shifted upward. (more…)
“As long as our city rests on a 20th century foundation, we won’t be able to compete in a 21st century economy,” saysChicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He made that observation when noting that Chicago is suffering from limited resources to help build and maintain its vast infrastructure network of roads, bridges, transit, schools, and other public facilities. As the Mayor announced last spring, the Chicago Infrastructure Trust is aimed at luring private investment to help fund public infrastructure projects. Now, the trust is launching its first project. (more…)
When it comes to transit-oriented development, Los Angeles is a city brimming with plans, ideas, and long-term vision. But, according to a report [PDF] by the Los Angeles Business Council Institute, the municipality has been lacking on the coordination and implementation fronts. Since 1993 the City has had a transit-oriented policy that was passed and adopted by the City Council and Metro’s board. But a lack of collaboration internally and inconsistent coordination with outside players has essentially left these policies “sitting on the shelf.” The report notes that some of those decades-old policies “still have merit in 2012.” (more…)
Want to go for a joy ride? Consider the adults-only party train to Vegas. The private train, operated by Las Vegas Railway Express will run on old Amtrak rails, taking Sin City revelers from Fullerton to Las Vegas in five hours. The railway company is hoping to start service as early as New Year’s Eve, but with the line’s terminus described as a “yet-to-be-built depot in downtown Las Vegas,” that opening date may be wishful thinking.
If you’d rather party by bus, then Megabus may be your best bet. The super cheap intercity bus service relaunched in California this month and includes destinations throughout the state. With prices as low as $1 for a plush seat with free Wi-Fi, you’ll have enough cash leftover to beer bash alongside college kids who frequently use the service.
Between 2011 and 2017, some 24,400 veterans will return from Iraq and Afghanistan. That has many groups asking what we can do to support our soldiers when they return home. Unfortunately, the employment landscape for veterans isn’t looking great. (more…)