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Bill to Kill High-Speed Rail Project is Revised, Advances in Legislature

After state legislators swiftly killed a movement by a Southern California lawmaker to stop the high-speed train project, the bill's author substantially altered the legislation, which passed its first hurdle this week....Now, the bill would instead require the California High-Speed Rail Authority to submit six-year spending plans and annual financing reports to the Legislature. The documents would need to include any proposed debt and costs associated with the $43 billion project.

American Canyon, Vallejo Delegates Ponder Impacts of 'Sustainable Communities Strategy'

Senate Bill 375, passed in 2008, requires regions to develop integrated transportation, land use and housing plans to reduce driving and greenhouse gas emissions....attended the summit because I expected to hear both sides of the issue, but both sides weren't presented," American Canyon City Councilman Ed West said. "It was really a pep rally for SB 375."

Who Determines When Airways Are Safe From Ash?

In the summer of 2008, three volcanoes in Alaska's Aleutian Islands blew their tops in quick succession. Kasatochi, Okmok and Cleveland all spewed giant ash plumes into the air. It wasn't big news at the time, but one of them created an ash cloud that stretched across North America. Flight disruptions were quite minor...The eruption was handled very differently in the U.S. compared with Europe's reaction to the Iceland volcano. In Europe, government authorities decide whether the skies are safe or not.

Cities Back State's Emission-Cutting Law

A group representing California's cities voted overwhelmingly Thursday to support the state's landmark efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions, rejecting efforts by some of the group's members to seek a delay in implementing the law...The proposal by a committee of the League of California Cities to ask the state to consider moving back deadlines for cutting emissions coincided with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the world's largest celebration of environmentalism....The decision by the group was a victory for AB32, which calls for a 25 percent reduction in the state's carbon emissions

Motorcycle Deaths Down after Years of Rising

After rising steadily for nearly a dozen years to set a record in 2008, the number of people killed nationally in motorcycle accidents dropped dramatically last year, according to a report issued Thursday....There was no ready explanation for the drop, a year after 5,290 motorcycle fatalities set a record. The speculation included that the economy was keeping motorcyclists off the road, that a 42 percent drop in new motorcycle sales last year resulted in fewer novice riders and that publicity about deaths had heightened the awareness of both motorcyclists and motorists.

Caltrain Data Shows Path to Bankruptcy Without Electric Railroad

Declaring an electric railroad its only chance at salvation, Caltrain officials on Thursday released the most-detailed projections yet of the rail line's bleak financial picture: $47 million in debt next year — with a gap that will grow by about $1.6 million a year. With electric trains, Caltrain could expand commute-time service and collect 49 percent more money while keeping expenses roughly flat, according to a new financial forecast the agency compiled at the request of the Bay Area News Group....The new projections come weeks after Caltrain officials announced massive service cuts were


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