Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Must Reads: Dems Blast Brown’s Giant Water Tunnels Plan; High-Speed Rail Hits Road Block

By Robert Gammon
Fri, May 31, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Several Congressional Democrats from California strongly criticized Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to build two giant water tunnels around the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, the Trib reports. The Democrats contend that Brown’s $25 billion plan will harm the fragile Delta and local fisheries, and will devastate small farms in the region. Democratic Congress members George Miller, Martinez; Mike Thompson, Napa; Jerry McNerney, Stockton; John Garamendi, Fairfield; Ami Bera, Rancho Cordova; and Doris Matsui, Sacramento, all criticized the governor’s proposal.

2. Brown’s administration, meanwhile, acknowledged that the state won’t break ground in July as planned on California’s controversial high-speed rail system, the Mercury News reported. Opponents of the $69 billion project have sued to block it; and a trial was scheduled to begin today.

3. Tesla Motors announced that it will build a nationwide network of electric-car charging stations that will enable electric car owners to drive across the country, the Mercury News reports. The super-charging stations will enable motorists to recharge their electric vehicles in about twenty minutes.

4. An Oakland-based African-American group is advocating a ban on menthol cigarettes, the Mercury News reports. The African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council noted that Big Tobacco has targeted black communities nationwide with ads for menthol cigarettes.

5. Contra Costa County health officials have launched an ad campaign urging parents to give young kids water rather than sugary drinks, the Mercury News reports.

6. And a state appellate court has upheld the current moratorium on the death penalty in California, the Mercury News reports. State officials have not decided whether to appeal the decision.

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