Tag Archives: Folsom

Rebuilding our Environment

While Arnold is trying to slowly deconstruct California’s environmental regulations, there is still progress in the right direction.  In fact, just last week, I was reminded of the changes to come.

Locally here in California, all sides came to an agreement via a court settlement on how to handle the widening of Highway 50 near Sacramento. The widening will be used to add an HOV lane, but the settlement provides what should be a model for moving forward on road projects. Namely, it includes a provision requiring CalTrans to help fund the building of an additional light rail line between Sacramento and Folsom along Highway 50.

The project would increase the availability of green transit options and is expected to significantly increase ridership, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the light rail system.  Not a bad start for a local change.

But California leads on big ideas as well, and Rep. Pete Stark is nothing if not a bold thinker.  Last week he introduced the Save Our Climate Act, a carbon tax bill. The bill focuses on high carbon emitting fuels. A quick synopsis of the bill:

The Save Our Climate Act imposes an initial tax of $10 per ton of carbon content on fossil fuels when they are initially removed from the ground or imported into the United States, resulting in approximately a 2 cents per gallon increase. The tax will increase by $10 each year, freezing when a mandated report by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Energy determines that carbon dioxide emissions have decreased by 80 percent from 1990 levels.  The 80 percent level is the reduction estimated by the International Panel on Climate Change to be necessary to prevent the catastrophic consequences anticipated from rapid climate change.

While some speak of being green, and are transformed by the media into some sort of green icon, others are actually working towards making change happen.  California is looking into the barrel of the gun on climate change. We already face the specter of mass water rationing  unless we get a great deal of snow in the Sierras, and there is no silver bullet to our water issues.

Increased public transit and carbon taxes are both important solutions for climate change. Hopefully both of these plans will be acted upon soon.

Thursday Open Thread: Anti-Americans and More!

• A Houston Congressman, Ted Poe, has called LA Superior Court Commissioner Marilyn Mackel “Anti-American”. Apparently Mr. Poe didn’t like the fact that Ms. Mackel denied early enlistment for a 17 year old while telling the potential Marine that she opposed the Iraq War. You pretty much know you are on the right path when Ted Poe is attacking you.

• Former Folsom Mayor Glen Fait came out very publicly: he took an ad out in the local newspaper coming out and asking his neighbors to vote against Prop 8. Good for him.

• Ballots sent by mail with incorrect postage will still be counted. While some counties, like San Francisco, choose to pay for the postage for VBM voters, that is not the case in many counties.  This is a sad statement from the Santa Clara County:

“We have an agreement with the post office that they’ll deliver the election mail, but we keep urging people to use the proper postage,” Morales said. “We don’t want to subsidize the entire ballot.”

One would hope that voting would be subsidized, instead of applying a neo-poll tax, small as it may be, for voters who are forced to do VBM by closed precincts or other necessities.

• From a few days ago – turns out that racist “Obama Bucks” cartoon in a Republican mailer was actually taken from a parody blog site.  Ron Nehring is trying to spin this as a “liberal blog” producing hate and racism.  Um, Ron, it makes it WORSE that your GOP minions can’t recognize parody when they see it.

• Already, 6 papers in California that backed Bush in 2004 have endorsed Obama.

• The City of Palo Alto took a stand against brutal immigration enforcement tactics.

• Mary Nichols, head of the California Air Resources Board has come out for No on 10.  And something for the kiddos: A No on Prop 10 Crossword (PDF) from Prop 87 proponent Anthony Rubenstein. Well, at least the very nerdy kiddos. Fun!