Transportation

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tuesday Must Reads: Governor Close to Declaring Drought; Miller to Retire and DeSaulnier Is Running for His Seat

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 14, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown said his administration will soon declare a drought in California, the LA Times$ reports. The Mercury News$ notes that a massive high-pressure ridge has been parked over the West Coast for the past thirteen months, pushing rain north to British Columbia and causing the driest calendar year on record in California. The bone-dry weather also is imperiling salmon and steelhead runs along the Northern and Central California coasts.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday Must Reads: Bay Bridge Bolt Monitoring to Cost At Least $10 Million a Year; Brown’s Plan for Redevelopment Criticized

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The cost to monitor the new Bay Bridge’s bolt problems is expected to be at least $10 million this year, the Chron reports. That’s on top of the $25 million that it cost to fix the problem caused by 32 large steel rods breaking last year. Caltrans still has no idea how many of the thousands of large bolts on the new bridge will eventually snap.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Reauthorization for Critical Health-Care Funding Measure May Not Come Until 2016

by Steven Tavares
Fri, Jan 10, 2014 at 3:22 PM

Alameda County Supervisor Wilma Chan said this week that the county may not ask voters to reauthorize a critical funding measure for the county’s health-care system until 2016. Measure A, the massive and largely successful health care tax passed by voters in 2004, has helped shore up funding for the county’s hospitals and related health care providers that serve mostly low-income residents. The half-cent sales generates more than $100 million annually funding. However, the measure is due to expire in 2019.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Brown Wants to Pay Down ‘Wall of Debt’; Santana Makes Final Cut in Dallas

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 9, 2014 at 9:56 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown is proposing to use $10 billion in state funds next year to pay down what he calls the state’s “Wall of Debt” — about $24.5 billion in outstanding loans and other debts. Brown also wants to use next year’s expected surplus to increase funding for K-12 schools, higher education, and health and social services programs, and would set aside money for a “rainy day fund.” The SacBee$ reports that he also wants to divert up to $300 million from the state’s cap-and-trade program to help fund his proposed high-speed rail project.

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Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday Must Reads: BART Board Approves New Union Contract; Judge Orders San Francisco City College to Remain Open

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Jan 3, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The BART board of directors voted 8-1 to approve contracts with two of the transit agency’s largest unions, thereby greatly lessening the possibility of another strike, CoCo Times$ reports. The agreements now must be ratified by the unions’ rank-and-file members. The membership had approved an earlier contract agreement but the BART board rejected it, contending that its negotiating team had mistakenly agreed to a paid family leave benefit. Under the revised deal, that benefit is dropped in exchange for other concessions.

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Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thursday Must Reads: Oakland Airport Connector to Open This Year; Soda Tax Would Save Up to $1 Billion in Healthcare Costs

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Jan 2, 2014 at 10:03 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A new elevated connector between Oakland Airport and BART’s Coliseum Station is on track to open this fall, the Bay Area News Group$ reports. The $484 million project broke ground in 2011 and will make it easier for airline passengers to connect BART trains.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday Must Reads: Obamacare Signups Surge in December; Mayor Quan Leads Poll By Ten Points

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 30, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Nearly 1 million Americans enrolled in Obamacare in December, pushing the total number of signups to more than 2 million nationwide, the Washington Post$ reports. The surge in signups came after the administration made fixes to the problem-plagued federal website. The total enrollment, however, fell short of the White House’s goal of 3.3 million. The enrollees to date will be eligible to receive private health insurance as of January 1, and uninsured consumers have until March 31 to sign up for Obamacare or face fines.

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: FDA Attempts to Limit Factory Farm Antibiotics; Asiana Crash Probe Focuses on Pilot Error

by Robert Gammon
Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 10:13 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The FDA has finally decided to try to curb the use of antibiotics in factory farms nationwide in an attempt to stem the growth of antibiotic-resistant super bugs that kill 23,000 Americans each year, the Chron reports. Big Agribusinesses have long used antibiotics to prevent livestock that stand shoulder-to-shoulder in their own excrement from getting sick. But studies have shown that this practice creates super bugs that when transferred to humans cannot be treated. Some environmentalists, however, are criticizing the FDA’s plan as being too weak because it’s a voluntary program.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Must Reads: Major League Baseball Rejects A’s Planned Move to San Jose; Experts Warn that New Bay Bridge May Be Unsafe

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Dec 9, 2013 at 9:55 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Attorneys for Major League Baseball revealed in a court filing Friday that Commissioner Bud Selig sent a letter in June to Oakland A’s co-owner Lew Wolff, informing him that he had rejected the team’s proposal to move to San Jose, the Mercury News reports. The league sent the rejection letter one day before the City of San Jose sued MLB for effectively blocking the A’s from relocating to the South Bay. The league has indicated that the A’s can’t move to San Jose because the San Francisco Giants hold the territorial rights to the area. In the June 17 letter, the league wrote that “Selig was not satisfied with the club's relocation proposal.”

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday Must Reads: Unions to File Lawsuit Against BART; Libby Schaaf Enters Oakland Mayor’s Race

by Robert Gammon
Tue, Dec 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. BART’s two major transit unions plan to file a lawsuit today against the transit agency’s board of directors, alleging that the board engaged in illegitimate actions when it rejected a contract agreement that its own negotiating team had signed off on, NBC Bay Area reports. The disputed agreement concerns a six-week paid family leave provision. The BART board contends that its bargaining team “mistakenly” agreed to the provision, but leaders of SEIU and ATU say that BART was well aware of it and readily agreed to it during negotiations.

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