Thursday, February 15, 2018
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on farming entrepenuers the Selan or Wheeler farms plan on cultivating marijuana in Lancaster. They purchased 12 acres at an onion plant for 5.4 million. They in turn hope to buy more land to cultivate weed. They say most dispensaries don’t have enough supply of weed for their businesses. Regulations in LA County are very restrictive. Many have bought land for the plan to cultivate, yet city and county regulations may halt production. Making big land purchases a waste. The city of LA doesn’t appear to want cultivation nearby. That leaves it to smaller cities needing the tax revenue to survive. Lancaster voted in February 2017 to permit cultivation and manufacture of medical marijuana only. One thing the future planners in Lancaster can't do, is sell to the recreational market. They must have a connection to medical dispensaries. If you want to grow marijuana to the adult market well it can’t be in the city of Lancaster. You will have to go East to San Bernardino, or north to Mendocino County.
Thursday, February 1, 2018
California Bullet train First Stage (Central Valley) will Cost Almost double from Original Estimate of $6 Billion
The LA Times recently reported that the CalHighSpeed Rail budget ballooned $2.8 billion with a total estimated cost to build at $10.6 billion. The original estimate was $6 billion for the central valley portion. This according to the LA Times is the worst case scenario. The cost increases stem from higher land acquisition costs, costs of relocating utility systems, new safety barriers in the area freight and Speed rails trains meet. The new chief executive director Brian Kelley ($400k salary) said the high speed rail is crucial for the future economic needs of the State, but it has tough challenges. Such as where are they going to get the new $2.8 billion? This will require the state legislator for more money. The State approved the bonds and the increase will cover the train for the central valley, but if they are having such cost overruns now in the lower priced valley. How can they pay for land acquisition in the Bay Area and downtown LA? The original projection was that this fancy rail line would cost $40 billion and it is now estimated to need $64 billion to complete. The new report brings to view that the authorities underestimation for the cost to acquire the land, the environmental approvals and subsequent litigation. Many critics are saying that the authority estimated lower costs to politically protect the project. They basically underestimated the costs and overstated the benefits. I guess when it is not your personal money being spent it is easy to do. The LA Times spoke to James Moore, director of the transportation engineering program at USC. "It is in my opinion overly deceptive. We have seen on transportation projects this militant defense that is meant to cause the public to remain calm." Moore forewarns that the costs are likely to produce much greater future increases. On the horizon are more difficult segments, such as the long underground passage through the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains and the route into the urban San Francisco Bay Area. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declined to even speak about the rail for the past two years. Liberal state governor candidates are avoiding the issue entirely. Repaying the bonds will cost $18 billion in the next 30 years. This means our roads will suffer, and money will not be available for Hwy improvements. One of their biggest mistakes has been they have not acquired the land in advance. They indicated they will amend that mistake, but acquiring the land and then planning the construction. Does that mean they will begin buying in the Antelope Valley? Likely not right away, but they will begin the process much earlier. Part of the problem as well maybe that California is a one party state. Only liberals make decisions, and opposing views are not even considered.