Tuesday, April 24, 2018

The California Bullet Train Future May hang in the Balance This Election Cycle

Democratic California Governor Candidates approve of the train while the two leading GOP candidates oppose it. California voters approved Proposition 1A approving nearly $10 billion in bond money for the construction of the high-speed rail system yet since the 2008 vote the costs and overruns are taxing the State population. New polls who voters want their money to go elsewhere. There planned 119 Central Valley run has less obstacles, but future planned tunnels may cause environmental conscience voters to irk. The line from San Francisco to Bakersfield may not be operational until 2029. Costs continue to go up and Ion particular, there's cost and various other challenges posed by the tunneling through the Pacheco Pass, which the business plan termed "the critical link between the Silicon Valley and the Central Valley. Each time Sacramento gets new reports they all involve more money and more time. Democratic candidates want the spending to continue as well as labor unions. Public opinion has an opposing view. June 5, 2018 primary will decide which two gubernatorial candidates, regardless of party, advance to the general election Nov. 6. Front-runner Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has expressed concerns on the proposed rail plan. However, Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat and former Los Angeles mayor said in a statement he supports the rail project and claims "unlike others, his position has been consistent." California secured about $3.3 billion in federal stimulus funds in 2009 but has burned through about $2.5 billion of that money. Some say no sane investor would ever put money into this thing and the federal government cut off the spigot a long time ago. Some economist think tech worker may live in Bakersfield and commute by high speed to work if the train actually gets completed, but that is at least a decade away and billions of dollars in State debt. Can this train ever make money as a return on the investment? Private money managers say no. It is now up to the next governor to kill it, or keep running up the bills. Seems to be the only two avenues remaining.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Is Marijuana Saving Adelanto?

Adelanto is in San Bernardino County just outside of Victorville, Ca. It has lost the Georgia Air Force Base in 92 and has not seen good times since. Recently the down was $2.6 million in the hole and they have elected to become a marijuana cultivation zone which is put them in the in the black or should we say green. The population according to the census is 33,000 with 1% in prison. It has been known as a prison city since it has a privately run detention facility as big employer. The city was founded about a 100 years ago by the inventor of the toaster and iron. The current population is about 50% Hispanic and 30% African-American, but almost half live below the poverty line. Around its 100 anniversary it joined Desert Hot Springs in allowing medical marijuana on an industrial scale. Land prices in the cultivation zone have sky rocketed 1000% from $300k to $3 million for parcels in the allowed area. The city has licensed 40 new facilities and it now rests its hopes on a weed. Currently eight states have legalized recreational marijuana and twenty nine approve medical use. Adelanto and other struggling cities in California are banking on a new “green wave”, which is a Federal crime. We will see if this sticks long term. Industrial hemp may have been a better first start as it is clearly a more green for the environment, while marijuana is a smoking drug with many issues that surround it.